Fresh areas affected in rain-hit Malda; ministers face protest

Fresh areas of West Bengal's Malda district have been inundated following incessant rain and around 3 lakh people have been affected, officials said on Wednesday.

The affected people of Ratua demonstrated before two visiting state ministers demanding adequate relief and a visit by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Low lying areas of 86 gram panchayats in seven blocks of the district were submerged as swelling water of the Ganga, Phulahar and the Mahananda entered the villages.

River water inundated 15 more villages in the seven blocks taking the number of affected people from 2.5 lakh on Tuesday to 3 lakh on Wednesday.

The rain-hit blocks are Kaliachak II and III, Ratua I and II, Harishchandrapur II, Englishbazar and Gajol.

State ministers Javed Khan and Gholam Rabbani who visited the affected areas, faced demonstrations by the affected people who demanded adequate relief on Wednesday.

They also demanded that the chief minister make a visit to the rain-affected areas.

"We are here on the instruction of the chief minister. We will report to her what we have seen. But we cannot promise them the moon," Khan told reporters.

A total of 25 relief camps have been opened in the district, in which around 10,000 people have taken shelter, the officials said.