" --IANS"
Kolkata, Aug 19 - Notwithstanding an overall improvement in the flood scenario in northern West Bengal due to the reduced rainfall, the situation deteriorated in parts of Malda and South Dinajpur districts on Saturday, as reports of affected people looting relief materials came from a couple of places.

In Malda, the situation worsened, as 400 villages suffered fresh inundation, with the Phulhar river inundating large areas of Harishchandrapur block, officials said.

The Harishchandrapur panchayat office was ransacked by villagers who looted relief materials.

Thousands were living on the roads, amid lack of food and other essential commodities.

In South Dinajpur district, the Mahananda river was in spate, submerging ten villages, while a ruling Trinamool Congress functionary was heckled by the affected people looking for relief.

With parts of National Highway 34 still under water, there was a long queue of stranded goods trucks in Farakka, Dhulian and Samserganj, triggering fears of shortage of vegetables.

Meanwhile, in a bid to aid passengers and cater to the rush in view of the floods in northern West Bengal and Bihar, the Eastern Railway announced it would run three pairs of special trains between Howrah & Raiganj via Katihar.

The first special train for Raiganj in the flood-hit North Dinajpur district, left Howrah station on Saturday night and would reach Raiganj the next morning, an ER statement said. This would run on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

While returning, train no 03158 Raiganj-Howrah Special will start from Raiganj in the night and arrive at Howrah station the next morning.

These special trains will stop at Bandel, Barddhaman, Bolpur, Ahmadpur, Sainthia, Rampurhat, New Farakka, Malda Town, Samsi, Harishchandrapur, Kumedpur, Labha & Katihar stations enroute in both the directions.

--IANS

ssp/vd


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