Patna: The status of flood has worsened in Bihar on Friday, July 24, after swollen rivers breached embankments at several places, inundating hundreds of new villages in different districts and posing serious threat to other villages. This has forced people to flee their homes, who are now struggling to survive after shifting to higher places.
According to officials of the Water Resources Department (WRD), the embankment of Gandak river was breached near Bhawanipur in East Champaran; the Baruli embankment in Gopalganj district and the embankment of Bagmati river in Darbhanga district were also breached. These series of breaching of embankments have created panic as flood waters have rushed into hundreds of villages.
“The villages of Kotwa, Kesaria and Kalyanpur blocks in East Champaran, Barauli and Manjha blocks in Gopalganj and in Hanuman Nagar and Keoti blocks in Darbhanga have been inundated,” a WRD official said.
As per the authorities, the pressure on embankments increased after barrage discharge of record water into rivers following heavy rains in catchment areas in the last four-five days.The water levels of rivers have been rising to danger and extreme danger levels at several places that has led to the breach of embankments.
Breaching of embankments is connected with poor quality flood control measures including anti-erosion works, repair and maintenance of embankments this year. WRD officials have admitted time and again that the months long lockdown to contain COVID-19 delayed the flood control measures and works were completed in a hurry in June end that compromised with its quality.
The train services were disrupted between Darbhanga-Samastipur rail section as flood water submerged the railway bridge. In Darbhanga town, flood water entered the premises of Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital on Friday.
The flood waters have damaged mud and that ched houses mainly, roads and railway lines in several districts.
As per official Disaster Management Department data, 765191 lakh people were affected by the floods in the state till Monday. The number of affected people is increasing by the day. There were 2.92 lakh flood-affected people on July 18. About 36448 people have been rescued from marooned villages and 13877 people are staying in 28 relief camps so far. However, unofficial figures have put the number to more than 20 lakh affected people in the state.
With heavy monsoon rains continuing since last week in the catchment area of the Koshi, Kamla Balan, Bagmati, Gandak, Mahananda, Adhwara, Lal Bakeya, Ghaghra and other rivers in neighbouring Nepal as well as in northern districts of Bihar, water level has dangerously increased in these rivers. Taking this seriously, a red alert of flood threat has been sounded by the state government, which instructed district officials to shift people living under the embankments and from low lying flood prone areas to safer and higher places.
Vijay Sinha, commandant of the NDRF at 9 Battalion of NDRF headquarters at Bihta near Patna, said that 12 teams of NDRF along with resources have been deployed on requisition of the Bihar State Disaster Management Department. “The teams are well equipped and have been alerted to take quick action. They have been provided with PPE kits, N-95 masks, hand gloves, face shield, face hood cover, shoe cover, sanitiser, hand wash, soaps, sodium hypochloride and so on. Besides, four teams of the NDRF unit are kept on alert mode at the headquarters,” he said.
The state government has also deployed 14 teams of State Disaster Response Force and addition of 100 jawans of home guard in flood prone districts.
Meanwhile, Bihar Opposition leader Tejawshwi Yadav appealed to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to make at least an aerial survey of the flood affected areas.
On the other hand, the state government has announced to provide Rs 6,000 to all flood affected families in 10 districts as a compensation.