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Leaking Farakka may spell disaster for Bengal: Mamata

Leakage in Farakka Barrage could push West Bengal to water and power scarcity, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today.

"Earlier, we had detected a leakage at the Farakka Barrage which was letting out excess water to Bangladesh. Now we have discovered that a sluice gate has completely broken down, releasing 80,000 cusecs of water instead of the agreed 30,000 cusecs to the neighbouring country," Banerjee told reporters after meeting the prime minister at his 7 Race Course Road residence in New Delhi.

 Leaking Farakka may spell disaster for Bengal: Mamata

Banerjee said without sufficient storage at the barrage her people will have neither power nor drinking water.Reuters

"We reported the matter to the Central government organisation that maintains the barrage but it failed to repair it," she said. "We have demanded a high level enquiry in the matter."

The West Bengal chief minister said that the prime minister shared her concerns and assured her that the Ministry of Water Resources is working on plugging the leakages in Gate No. 16 and 13.

The leakages will be plugged during March 2012, Banerjee said Singh told her.

Banerjee said without sufficient storage at the barrage her people will have neither power nor drinking water.

"Rivers like the Bhagirathi and Hooghly will go dry. People will have no drinking water and electricity if the NTPC plant stops functioning due to lack of water. Boats will be unable to move," she said, adding, "It will cause a disaster in West Bengal."

The Farakka Barrage also diverts water to the Bhagirathi and Hooghly rivers and serves as a water source to Farakka Super Thermal Power Station, run by NTPC.

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Updated Date: Feb 22, 2012 19:48:25 IST