Floods kill 26 persons in Bihar

Bagmati, Mahananda and Kosi rivers in spate; large-scale displacement in four districts

By Alok Gupta
Published: Friday 12 July 2013

Incessant rains and floods have claimed the lives of 26 people in Bihar. Around 10 people including eight children met a watery grave in Madhepura district on Friday morning when a ferry boat carrying them capsized following heavy rains and strong winds.

Eight bodies have been recovered and search for two more is still on.

Water has gushed into nearly 189 villages of Araria, Purnia, Kishanganj and Katihar districts. On Thursday night, 16 deaths due to drowning were reported. Four people in Purnia, three in Araria, five in Kishnaganj and three people in Bagha died after waves of river water inundated the village.

Around 35,000 people have been displaced in four districts. Chief secretary AK Sinha said 198,750 people in Kishanganj and 294,423 people in Purnia are affected by floods. State government, in order to control the situation, has rushed National Disaster Response Teams for rescue work.

Officials deputed in the flood control room informed that the Bagmati river is flowing 54 cm above the danger mark in Venibad. The sorrow of Bihar, the Kosi river, is flowing 84 cm above the danger mark at Basua, and the Mahananda river is flowing 65 to 150 cm above the danger mark at various locations.
Mahananda alone is threatens to 200,000 people. Keeping in view the grim situation, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar convened a high level meeting to take stock of rescue and relief measures initiated in flood affected areas.

The chief minister has issued order for round-the-clock surveillance of rivers in spate that have no embankments. The meeting also focused on the massive erosion caused by the rivers in nearly 220 villages.

Due to erosion, Indian Railways have suspended all operations and movement of trains at Raxaul-Narkatiaganj section for the fourth consecutive day.
The situation is alarming on the Narkatiaganj-Balthar road as well. The complete stretch of road remains inundated in four feet of water.

It is learnt that the state government, fearing that main roads and railways might cut-off a large of number villagers, has decided to protect the main and capillary roads that leads to the villages. The preventive step is to ensure a steady flow of relief material and rescue work in case rivers flood the villages.

The government has suspended three engineers in Kishanganj for dereliction of duty by neglecting to protect a crucial road link from erosion. District magistrate Aditya Kumar Das had instructed the engineers to control the erosion. The three engineers—executive engineer Sadanand Chaudhary, assistant engineer Subhash Chandra and junior engineer P N Singh were suspended Thursday night. The erosion of the road is also threatening the Mahananda bridge.

The government has announced a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh to closest kin of victims killed due to flood.


Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

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.