Bihar is facing a sordid situation with the current death toll in the recent floods reaching 119, as reported by Firstpost. Unconfirmed reports are, however, putting the death toll at 150.
The floods were triggered off by the incessant rains in Nepal and the northern states. An estimate of 98 lakh people from 16 districts of the state have been severely hit.
Amongst the other hardest hit areas were Kishanganj, Araria, Purnea and Katihar of Seemanchal region and Supaul and Madhepura Koshi region. The flood situation has also worsened in East and West Champaran, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Darbhanga and Gopalganj as several rivers have been breaching embankments, according to official reports.
Disaster Management Department Principal Secretary Pratyay Amrit said that Araria district accounted for 20 deaths, followed by East Champaran (14), West Champaran (13), Madhepura (12), Sitamarhi (11), Kisanganj (8), Purnea (5), Madhubani (5), Darbhanga (4), Saharsa (3), Sheohar (2) and Supual (1).
Slight and temporary respite
The situation had seen some minor upliftment on 16 August when the water levels on the rivers, besides Ganga and the Burhi Gandak, had been receding. Officials in the WRD flood monitoring cell had said the water level in some rivers, including Bagmati, Kamla Bagan and Mahananda, had a receding trend owing to reduced rainfall since Tuesday evening.
The India Meteorological Department had also predicted that rainfall would be reduced in the region as the trough line and monsoon current, which led to heavy rains in the area over the past three days, were getting weak.
Connectivity to North Bengal and the North-east deteriorating
An East Central Railways statement said 39 trains had been cancelled as water overtopped tracks. The cancelled trains included 12235 Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani, 12424 New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani till August 20.
Many trains have been terminated for some time. Trains are unable to move as most of the tracks are under 2-3 feet of water. In fact, most trains to the northeast have terminated at Katihar.
The Main road link between Bihar and the Northeast has been blocked since August 14 evening. An approach road to a bridge over the river Mahananda along NH-31 which is the connection between Punera to Kishanganj is under water now.
The stranded tourists in North Bengal are ready to pay an exorbitant price for flight tickets to get out of the aggravating situation there.
Rescue operations being carried out
Around 4 lakh people have been rescued to safer places and out of them, an estimate of more than 3 lakh have been rehabilitated in 1,238 relief camps in different areas while 1,112 community kitchens are feeding 3.19 lakh flood victims.
Panchayats are being roped in to distribute food packets in areas where the water level has receded.
114 boats of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), 92 of SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) and 70 of the army are deployed for relief and rescue related works. The NDRF team had on 16 August facilitated the birth of a baby girl on its boat in Madhubani district. ‘Boat ambulances’ are also in use.
In the case of shortage of doctors in primary health centres, the administration would hire private doctors on payment, R K Mahajan, Principal Secretary of Health and Education, assured. He added that examinations in Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, have been postponed.
Wholehearted efforts are being taken by the authorities to rescue livestock, make amends for the roads that have been damaged due to the ravaging floods and purified drinking water are being provided to the displaced.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar accompanied by his Deputy Sushil Kumar Modi and Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh has conducted multiple aerial surveys of the marooned areas in Gopalganj, East Champaran, Sheohar and Sitamarhi districts among other sectors. Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has also been distributing cooked food to the flood victims.
The Logical Indian community hopes that the plight of the people in the flood-affected areas gets better as fast as possible. With massive losses to human and animal life and property, we hope that normalcy comes back to those who are suffering.