Nearly three lakh people across eight districts affected by floods in Bihar

Floods in Bihar create havoc with 2.88 lakh people being affected. 9,845 people evacuated from the region and have been sent to relief camps.
Life submerged within the embankment area (Source: India Water Portal Hindi) Life submerged within the embankment area (Source: India Water Portal Hindi)

The annual floods that wreak havoc in Bihar have almost knocked the state even this year as well. So far, the flood waters have entered 150 panchayats of 30 blocks across eight districts, namely Sitamarhi, Shivhar, Supaul, Kishanganj, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj and East Champaran  .

An official of Bihar's Disaster Management Department said,

“As per the estimation till now, 2 lakh 88 thousand people have been affected by the floods. Of these, 9,845 people have been evacuated and sent to relief camps.”

Houses submerged in floods

However, in comparison to the affected poppulation, the relief camps are being operated less. According to the Disaster Management Department, at present only five relief camps are being run, out of which two are in Darbhanga and three are in Gopalganj. 2081 people are staying in these relief camps and according to government data, 28 community kitchens are being operated for those living in the camps.

Not a single relief camp in Supaul and Sitamarhi

According to the information received from the Disaster Management Department, every year Kosi river affects 53,223 people from 5 blocks of Supaul district. Despite this, not a single relief camp is being operated in Supaul.

When India Water Portal spoke to Supaul DM Mahendra Kumar in this regard, he said,

“The population that has been affected is living within the Kosi embankment. Earlier, 2 lakh 76 thousand cusecs of water was being discharged in Kosi, which has been reduced to 1 lakh 40 thousand cusecs. Moreover, the water level of the river is decreasing and the water has even receded from people's homes. So there was no need to set up a relief camp."

He adds,

“Right now, two community kitchens are operating in Supaul, where people are getting food, but with water levels receding, the people are returning to their homes and are not coming to eat the food. So, we are going to close both the kitchens soon.”

Another Supaul official said that, a relief camp was operated till July 13, in which 400 people were staying. 

However, the flood-affected people and NGOs working there have raised questions over the government arrangements. As per the locals, flood waters have been rising for the last one week, but there has been no help from the government. When water entered the houses, the government should have provided at least dry ration, but nothing was found. 

Mahendra Yadav, associated with the Kosi Navnirman Manch, said, “For two days, houses of the locals remained inundated in flood waters and during this time people had to take shelter on the embankment. Some moved to their relatives place, but no relief camps were set up by the government. Even the community kitchens were not started for the people taking shelter at the embankment.” 

Even in Sitamarhi district, 30,900 people from 5 blocks have been affected by the floods, but no relief camp is operating here.

Government constructed bridge at ShivharLooking at the figures of the flood affected people; the situation is getting worsened day by day. Moreover, according to the data received from the Disaster Management Department, on July 13, 23 blocks in seven districts of Bihar were hit by floods and 1,68,668 people were affected, which has now increased to 2.88 lakh.

On the other hand, due to spillage in Bagmati river, a temporary coffer dam in Piphari block of Shivhar district was broken, following which a new dam was constructed so that flood waters would not spread to the villages. Sanjay Jha, Minister of Water Resources Department of Bihar, posted on twitter that the 36 meter long dam was constructed in just 36 hours.

In Kewati of Darbhanga, the spillage in Bagmati river has caused an embankment breach near the railway line which has led to the spread of flood waters in the village.

Status of rivers

For the last two-three days, the state is not experiencing any rainfall as against the forecast of the Indian Meteorological Department; however, the water levels in the river is showing an increasing trend due to rains in the Terai areas of Nepal.

According to the Water Resources Department, although the Budhi Gandak is flowing below the danger mark, its water level is increasing in Samastipur, Khagaria and Muzaffarpur. Similarly, the Kamala Balan river is flowing below the danger mark in Madhubani's Jayanagar, but an increase in its water level is being observed. This river is flowing 0.85 meters above the danger mark in Jhanjharpur of Madhubani. The Ghaghra river has reached the danger mark at Darauli in Siwan.

The river Khiroi is flowing above the danger mark at Kamatoul and Ekamighat in Darbhanga. Likewise, the Bagmati river is also above the danger mark in Katounjha and Beniabad of Muzaffarpur. The Adhwara river is flowing above the danger mark at Sundarpur and Pupri in Sitamarhi. Although, the Ganga river is flowing below the danger mark, but its water level is continuously on the rise in Kahalgaon and Bhagalpur of Bhagalpur, Hathidah and Munger in Patna.

The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted rains in some areas of Nepal and North Bihar till July 20.

Your cooperation

In case you notice any cracks or other problems in the embankments in your area, then call the helpline number 18003456145 and share the information immediately.

You can also report at Twitter by tagging #HelloWRD, @WRD_Bihar (Department of Water Resources). On obtaining the information, the department will immediately inform the officials of the concerned area and prompt action will be taken.

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You can read the article in hindi here. Authored by Umesh Kumar Ray; Translation to english by Swati Bansal

 

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