Patna: Flood victims continued to protest on Saturday (July 20) at several places in Bihar against the lack of relief that has exposed the lies of the state government of providing adequate assistance to them.
Thousands of flood victims in Bihar’s Sitamarhi, Darbhanga, East Champaran, Madhubani, Araria and Kishanganj districts have staged protest demanding relief in the last 24 hours. Reports of anger growing among flood victims over inadequate relief distributions are coming from 12 Flood affected districts.
In Sitamarhi, which is one of the worst flood-hit districts, hundreds of flood victims on Saturday staged protest by blocking the Sitamarhi-Sheohar NH-104 for several hours. The protesting flood victims also chased away the local police which tried to convince them to end the protest.
Unhappy over inadequate relief to more than 400 flood hit families, they have also alleged that no government officials have visited them so far to enquire about their difficulties and problems. However, the district administration claimed that it is running 215 community kitchens in Sitamarhi. “It is only on paper,” said a flood victim, Rajesh Jha.
Also read: Death Toll Rises to 92 as Bihar Flood Situation Turns Grim
“Thousands of flood victims have been left in the lurch. The government’s ineptitude has forced them to stage protests by blocking roads and gheraoing district officials to express their anger over the lack of relief. They have also lost their patience over the quality and quantity of government aid that has so far been provided to them,” Mahendar Yadav, an activist told NewsClick. He is working among flood victims living within the Koshi embankments in Supaul and Madhepura districts of Koshi region, which have been badly hit by the current flood.
After being forced to flee their houses following the inundation of their villagee, flood victims have taken shelter on high rise roads and embankments for the last several days but their patience is running out as neither relief reached has them nor officials have assured them any help.
A group of 300 angry flood victims, while protesting in East Champaran on Friday and Saturday, attacked a circle officer of Chiraiya. They also raised slogans against the administration and demanded relief without delay.
Hungry and desperate for food, flood victims are saying that they are left with no option but to protest as no relief has been provided to them. “It is not a question of inadequate assistance given to them by the government, in fact we have been left unattended by the concerned officials,” a flood victim Raghunath Singh said.
Two days ago, dozens of flood victims had ransacked a government office in Dhaka block and gheroaed the Sub Divisional Officer’s (SDO) office. They also pelted stones at administrative officials while protesting against the lack of relief.
Also read: 6 People Drown, Schools Shut in 3 Districts of Bihar as Floods Worsen
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has also directed officials to speed up rescue and relief operations in the flood affected areas. The chief minister also asked the state health department officials to arrange for medicines and DDT sprays to check outbreak of diseases once the flood water subsided.
Nitish Kumar has launched a drive under which Rs 181 crore was disbursed among the affected people through direct cash transfer and each of the flood-hit family got Rs 6,000.
According to the official website of state disaster management department, the death toll from flood has risen to 92, while nearly 67 lakh people have been affected in 12 districts of the state.