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West Bengal flood toll rises to 53

June 27, 2008 19:02 IST

Seven more deaths were reported on Friday from interior villages of the flood-hit East and West Midnapore districts, raising the toll to 53, even as the situation further improved.

Reports were still trickling in from the villages rendered inaccessible due to the flash floods of major rivers like Kapaleshwari and Keleghai.

East Midnapore had 27 fatalities while West Midnapore had 26, the districts have a total population of 35 lakh, affected by the floods.

Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta, who reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting, said the government so far sanctioned a sum of Rs 61.5 crore for relief and reconstruction. The fund would be mostly spent on repair of damaged roads and embankments, besides school buildings, many of which partly or fully collapsed during the floods.

The repair of breached embankments had already started in the two districts. Dasgupta said to streamline the relief distribution, state and district-level monitoring committees had been formed.

A finance ministry team would supervise relief distribution. Meanwhile, the two columns of army were today withdrawn from affected areas in East Midnapore district after the flood waters receded.

Dasgupta said that 446 medical teams had fanned out in the flood-hit areas from Kolkata.

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