Flood situation worsens in Bihar

Rivers flow above danger mark; fear of floods in Patna

By Alok Gupta
Published: Tuesday 03 September 2013

The flood situation in Bihar has worsened. Around 165 people have died so far and nearly 5.4 million people in 20 districts are affected by floods. There is widespread fear of state capital Patna also going under water.

Vipin Kumar Rai, officer on special duty with the disaster management department, claimed that Patna is safe. “Adequate steps have been taken to stop water of the Ganga river from entering the city,” he said.

There is widespread fear that Patna is threatened by floods of the scale witnessed in 1975 when the city faced the worst-ever flooding. Rising water table of the Sone and Punpun rivers have rung the alarm bell. Rai, however, said that after the rise in water levels following release of water in the two rivers, their levels have gone down considerably.

As a precaution, Patna Municipal Corporation has closed the sluice gate of water drains to prevent flood water from entering the city. The minor irrigation department has taken steps to strengthen the retention wall along the Ganga that was constructed after the 1975 floods. The wall was constructed to prevent recurrence of floods in the capital.

The flood situation in Kaimur, Saran, Begusarai, Ara, Buxar, Vaishali, and Bhagalpur districts is, meanwhile, turning extremely serious. In Bhojpur district, the disaster management team was forced to evacuate around five villages. Agarna dam in Garkha block in Chapra suffered major damages at three points, forcing villagers of Rampur panchayat to shift to a safer place.

All the major rivers of the state are in flowing above the danger mark. While the Ganga is flowing 132 cm above the danger mark, the Saryu and Sone rivers are flowing 20 cm and 80 cm above the safe level.

Standing crop on over 520,000 hectares has been destroyed and an estimated damage of property to the tune of Rs 115 crore has been reported.
The disaster management cell is plying 2,799 boats in the flood-affected areas. Around 58,550 polythene sheets have been distributed to displaced families.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :
Related Stories

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.