Every year, incessant rainfall during the monsoon causes floods in the state, with North Bihar being the worst affected. Even this year, with the monsoon peaking up, fear of floods is looming over the state and some areas in the region have started witnessing a rise in river water levels.
The rising floodwaters lead to breach of river embankments which causes severe floods in many villages and thousands of people are left homeless. However, this year, along with constantly monitoring all the flood prone areas in the state, the Water Resources Department (WRD), Government of Bihar, has initiated the effort #HelloWRD, in order to tackle floods owing to the river embankment breach. For this, the department is seeking help from local people who can inform the former of any crack or breach in the embankment of their area so that appropriate actions could be taken for the complaints received.
Launch of the campaign
The initiative was first launched on social media. The department has requested the people in the state to reach out to them on Twitter using the #HelloWRD, if they notice any breach in embankment or there is a need of flood fighting work in their area.
As per Sanjay Kumar Jha, Minister of Water Resources Department, Government of Bihar, “the aim of this initiative is to receive complaints with respect to floods, river embankment breach, cracks in embankments or any other issue/s from the people instantly.”
He further said “People can inform the department regarding any issues related to the embankment in their area by posting at Twitter by tagging @WRD_Bihar and #HelloWRD, so that authorities could take immediate and appropriate actions.”
Along with posting at Twitter, people can also reach out to the department via Toll Free Helpline Number: 1800-3456-145, which is working 24X7 to take up flood-related complaints from people. An app will also be launched soon through which the complaints can also be made”, he added.
Awadhesh Jha, Public Relations Officer, Disaster Management Department has informed that although the government has taken up several flood-protection works, but, this year, for more participation of people in the efforts to tackle floods, the twitter campaign has been initiated.
He also said ”In every zone administration officer, engineers and home guards have been posted. Any embankment-related complaints received on Twitter will be notified to the respective administration officer so that they can look into the matter immediately.” One of the officials from the department has also informed that the appropriate actions would be taken within 4-5 hours of receiving the grievance.
People's involvement key to success of the campaign
The #HelloWRD was created on June 29 by the WRD Bihar and soon it started receiving updates from the people. Just a day after the campaign was started, a Twitter user informed with an image that the embankment on the Kamla River in Madhubani district could breach which can cause damage in Gopalkha village. He further posted that the breach is an annual event in the area and even this year a leakage can be observed. The same day another user posted that a playground attached to his village, which is part of the Badgaon Panchayat in Saharsa district, has been eroded by the river and the erosion threat looms over a school in the vicinity. This post received an immediate response from the department which assured that an official will soon visit the place and carry out the necessary repair works.
Another official from the department has also informed that the people who do not have a social media account or are not using a smartphone can use the toll free helpline number which will be working round the clock for registering embankment-related complaints from the people.
According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), this year Bihar has received 305.9 millimetres rainfall in June which is 82 percent more than normal (167.7 mm). However, the excess rainfall has created flood-like situations in northern districts as some major rivers have started flowing above the danger mark. The rising water level is posing a threat to thousands of people living in low-lying areas. As per Sanjay Kumar, meteorologist at the Patna Meteorological Centre, at least 28 of the 38 districts in the state received large excess rain; seven districts recorded excess rain and three recorded normal rain in June.
To support the Water Resources Department, Government of Bihar and the people of the state, India Water Portal wishes to lend its support by creating awareness about the campaign. Also, if you come across any embankment-related issues in your area, you can inform us via
We will take your complaints to the department so that necessary actions to combat floods can be taken. While posting your grievance, please do let us know your location to avoid any delays to the repair work.
You can read the article in hindi here. Authored by Umesh Kumar Ray; Translation to English: Swati Bansal