Malda, Nov. 27: The sudden cold wave in the district has hit hard the silkworms with thousands dying everyday.

Silkworms feed on the dark green leaves of mulberry plants. The saliva that comes out of the mouth of the grown-up worms forms the silk thread.

The Malda zilla parishad sabhadhipati has questioned the manner in which the district administration is distributing relief among the flood victims in the affected blocks of Harishchandrapur, Ratua and Manikchak.

The Congress sabhadhipati, Sabina Yasmeen, who visited Harishchandrapur last evening, said the relief distributed to the affected people was inadequate.

The panchayat pradhans of Malda's Ratua I and Harischandrapur II blocks have alleged inadequate relief for over 50,000 marooned people in the areas.

The Ganga and the Phulhar are flowing above the extreme danger level in the district and the Mahananda, Tangon and the Punarbhaba are in spate.

Twenty-one villages in Mahanandatola gram panchayat and 14 villages at Bilaimari in Ratua are under waist-deep water. Both the areas are cut off from the rest of the block for the past one week. Block development officer (BDO) Lakshman Halder visited the affected places today.

The bank of the Ganga in Bhutni where the river has been advancing steadily. Picture by Surajit Roy
Malda, July 28: People living on Bhutni island on the Ganga are facing a dilemma: whether to allow the river to breach the embankment and bring in silt that will enrich the soil, or ask the irrigation department to take steps to stop the flooding.

"If the rising waters of the river breach the embankment and deposit the silt, we will have a green revolution on the island,' a farmer said.

KULPI, July 28: Although soil erosion is an acute problem in Malda and Murshidabad, the situation is not much different at Kulpi in South 24- Parganas. People living in the villages of Hara, Mukundapur, Harinarayanpur and Raytala are haunted by the fear of being deprived of shelter. Major parts of the territories have already been submerged under the river bed.

India and Bangladesh have signed a pact in New Delhi on July 17 agreeing not to prevent each other from carrying out anti-erosion work along the border in malda district.

The district magistrate of Malda, Chittaranjan Das, said huge plots of Indian land on the border were eroded by the river. "The problem is particularly bad in areas like Old Malda, Habibpur and Bamungola where the border fencing and pillars have gone missing with the Mahananda eating into its banks.'

The bank of the Ganga in Manikchak where the river is gobbling up the land. Malda : Over 30 families in six villages of Manikchak lost their homes today as the Ganga and the Phulhar touched the danger level, prompting the Malda district authorities to raise the yellow alert. The two rivers meet in Manikchak, around 40km from Malda. Erosion has also begun in the Bhutni island, located between the rivers.

A congested NH34 in Malda. The highway passes right through the town. Picture by Surajit Roy Malda, July 1: The expansion of NH34 from Barasat to Dalkhola will be completed by 2011, National Highways Authority officials said today. The stretch between Barasat in North 24 Parganas and Dalkhola in North Dinajpur will be widenend to four lanes. "Provisions are being kept to turn it into a six-lane road in future. The land acquisition is being made with an eye to achieving the goal,' said Srikumar Bhattacharya, the project director of the NHAI here.

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Malda : The Farakka Barrage authorities have decided to deploy the Central Industrial Security Force at Manikchak where residents have stalled anti-erosion work along the Ganga. At an all-party meeting at the district magistrate's office here today, the administration endorsed the barrage authorities' decision to deploy the para-military force from tomorrow to enable them to go ahead with the work.