Bihar floods: Heavy rainfall predicted till August 1, relief unlikely
The Patna Meteorological Centre has predicted heavy rainfall till August 1 in Bihar, confirming that the state won't get relief from the floods anytime soon. Heavy downpour is expected in northern parts of the state, close to Himalayan peaks, a report in Hindustan Times said. Till now, 11 districts have been affected by floodwaters, with Darbhanga being the worst-hit district. Here are more details.
Sadly, Bihar suffers from floods and government's apathy every year
The situation in Bihar remains grim, with 2.4 million people being affected by floods. The rise in water-level in monsoon months is a common phenomenon, but despite ample warnings, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led government chooses to be ill-prepared almost every year. As heavy rains destroy mud structures, affect harvest, and have a catastrophic impact on livestock, residents are left to fend for themselves.
Heavy rainfall expected in Northern districts: Meteorological Centre
Disclosing what awaits residents of Bihar, Patna Meteorological Centre said, "Monsoon trough has reached close to the foothills of the Himalayas. Another north-south trough from Bihar to north Odisha is lying 1.5km above mean sea level." This means areas like Supaul, Araria, Kishanganj, and Madhepura will receive heavy downpour. The situation is expected to worsen further in the areas between Gopalganj and Katihar.
Overflowing rivers pressurized embankments, CM said they will be monitored
At least seven rivers were flowing above the danger mark at 24 spots in 15 districts, stressing the embankments. Kumar claimed the embankments will be monitored round-the-clock to assess the flood situation. The rivers which were overflowing are Gandak, Budhi Gandak, Baghmati, Adhwara, Kamala, Kosi, and Mahananda. These rivers directly impacted areas like Muzaffarpur, Sheohar, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Supaul, Khagaria, Katihar, East and West Champaran.
NDRF, SDRF teams deployed for relief, but weather played spoilsport
As per reports, 17 NDRF teams and eight SDRF teams have been deployed for rescue operations. However, relief work hit a roadblock due to worsening weather conditions in districts like Gopalganj, Darbhanga, and East Champaran. In these areas, air-dropping of food packets was temporarily stopped. In the meantime, essential items were delivered to affected people through boats, a senior official revealed.
Affected by floods, residents took shelter along highways
As persistent rains affected normal life, people fled their marooned houses to take shelter along highways. An Indian Express report claimed over 25,000 took shelter at NH-57 between Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga, while another 15,000 lived in tents along the East-West Corridor between Gopalganj and Motihari.
Unsurprisingly, opposition lashed out at Kumar over mismanagement
The sorry situation in Bihar got Kumar criticism from opposition parties with former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha Congress MP, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, saying that the Chief Minister never took steps to control floods. He said half of Bihar and three-fourth parts of North Bihar are affected by floods and people fled their homes, but the government didn't make arrangements for them.
Kumar never planned for floods in advance: Congress MP
"More than 100 people have died in Bihar due to the devastating floods. You know that both governments of Bihar and Assam used to prepare for flood control in advance. But, no such thing has been happening," he claimed.
Assam is also suffering, over 100 died in floods
Like Bihar, Assam is also grappling with floods with more than 100 people dying. Floods have affected 22 of the state's 33 districts, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said. Over two million people, most of them from Goalpara, suffered due to rains and were forced to seek shelter in camps after leaving their homes. More than 130 animals have died so far.