Fresh erosion along the banks of the Ganga has washed away more than 50 houses, two temples and acres of agricultural land in the Shamsergang area of Bengal’s Murshidabad district since Friday night.
Most people of the affected Dhusuripara village have left home with their belongings to settle down elsewhere.
The erosion in the Shamserganj area started with the destruction at Dhanghara village around a month ago. With the river in spate because of heavy rainfall in north India, the second village to face nature’s wrath was Natun Shibpur. Large tracts of agricultural land, bamboo groves and mango orchards were also washed away.
Fresh erosion at Dhusuripara has become a cause for concern for the administration and local people.
Kalu Singha, a resident of the village, said, “The river started eroding its banks on Friday afternoon but the real devastation started after 8 pm. Two temples and more than 50 houses were washed away within hours.”
Sumati Das, another resident, said, “The erosion started so suddenly that many villagers did not even get the time to salvage essential items from their homes. We have taken shelter in a local school. We don’t know who will provide us food and where we will go from here.”
Since Saturday, residents of many houses that are likely to be destroyed by the river have started demolishing their own homes. They are ferrying the doors, window frames, furniture and bricks to safer areas.
Amirul Islam, Trinamool Congress (TMC) legislator from Shamserganj, said, “We cannot understand why the erosion started again in new areas. Irrigation department officials are working on war footing.”
The local TMC unit has provided tarpaulin and food to the homeless people, he added.
Sujit Das, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Murshidabad (North) organisational district, said, “The state government has failed to tackle the erosion in Murshidabad. It can be done only if the state works in coordination with the Centre.”
Joydeep Chakraborty, the block development officer of Shamsarganj, said, “The irrigation department is trying to save the banks in some areas.”