Incessant rains are wreaking havoc in parts of Uttar Pradesh with the death toll owing to the floods and rain-related incidents mounting to 31 in the last two months in the districts Mau, Sonbhadra, Mirzapur, Varanasi, Prayagraj, etc.
With most of the rivers swollen and flowing above the danger mark in some parts of the state, the state Disaster Relief Department said that it is trying to shift people to safer places and is running relief operations at a fast pace.
Rajendra Yadav, 27, a resident of Daya Chhapra village in Ballia district, had to shift to a safe place along with his parents and livestock, as water of the Ghaghra river entered his village breaking the temporary check dam.
Along with Rajendra, 1,100 villagers have shifted to a safer place without relying on the government help or rescue operations carried out by the State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF).
Rajendra says that this happens every year, as the villages near the river banks get affected and a large part of the population is forced to move.
“People from my village now have two houses—one in this village and another at a safer place in any part of the district, away from the river. People move with their belongings and even livestock, but a lot of stray animals including cows, buffaloes, dogs and even wild animals like nilgai die nonetheless,” he says.
Sanjay Kumar, a resident of Ballia, says that the district is surrounded on two sides by Ghaghra and Ganges, which makes it prone to flooding.
“Both the rivers are swollen and the river water has entered the villages. With no proper drainage and the torrential rainfall in the last one week, the situation in the district has become worse,” says Kumar, adding that going to schools from the far-flung areas has become dangerous owing to the reptiles who are also moving to the dryer places during the flood. A man reportedly died of a snake bite in one of the border villages a couple of days ago.
The condition of the low-lying areas of the recently renamed city of Prayagraj, formerly Allahabad, is also abysmal. The river Ganga, which was heavily polluted during the Ardh Kumbh pilgrimage in the city, has been flowing few notches above the danger mark in the city. According to the figures available with the government, the level of Ganga in Fafamau, an uptown in Allahabad was 84.78 metre, while the highest level was recorded at Naini— 85.61 metre.
According to Furkan Ahmad, an expert in the subject, areas like Daraganj, Bakshi Bandh, Salori, Chilla, Tiliyarganj and many others have been raided by the water from Ganga and Yamuna rivers.
However, in Varanasi, the situation is reportedly more critical, as the water from the Ganges has entered the low-lying areas including the very famous and iconic Assi Ghat.
A resident, Anurag Tiwari, says, “The sewer is also flowing with the river water that has entered the city and there are no signs of water receding. Although the administration is trying its best to control the situation, the water level of Ganga is continuously rising.”
As per the district administration, two teams of the National Disaster Relief Force have been deployed for the rescue operations.
According to the data with the state government, the water level of major rivers including Ganga, Yamuna, Chambal, Betwa, Ken, Ghaghra and Sharda has increased above the danger mark.
Relief Commissioner GS Priyadarshi said that the district administration officers have been asked to supply food, drinking water, medicine and other items to the flood victims.
Meanwhile, six villages of Hamirpur have boycotted today’s Assembly bypolls owing to the flood and no-show of the political leaders.
Bypoll was necessitated following the disqualification of BJP MLA Ashok Singh Chandel after his conviction in a murder case.