| Residents of New Bank Colony at Adampur in Bhagalpur wait at home as all roads have been submerged by floodwater. Picture by Amit Kumar |
Distraught villagers who have lost their homes and land to rising floodwater in Bhagalpur and Munger have begun targeting government employees to give vent to their anger.
On Wednesday, a mob allegedly attacked Tarun Kumar Kesri, the circle officer of Nathnagar in Bhagalpur. Sources said residents of Sahebganj, Mohanpur and Sakam Bintoli under ward number 9 were protesting against irregularities in relief distribution and lost their tempers on not finding their names in the list of beneficiaries.
Nearly 20 such incidents have been reported from different places in Akbarnagar and Sultanganj when angered flood victims either blocked the roads or attacked government officials for not getting relief.
The residents of the villages are seeking shelter elsewhere after the rising water destroyed their crops and homes.
Sudama Mandal, 57, a resident of Ghogha, said: “The flood destroyed my standing crops of maize and vegetables. It also damaged my home.”
Along with soaring tempers, the floodwater, too, has shown an upward trend in the past 24 hours in both Bhagalpur and Munger.
Water inundated tracts in the riverine areas of the two districts, displacing thousands of people and damaging their property.
The Bhagalpur district administration was forced to shut down traffic movement on National Highway (NH) 80 near Zero Mile and between Sabour and Ghogha on Wednesday evening. Parts of the roads are also submerged at Farka.
L.M. Prajapati, the executive engineer of NH-80 in Bhagalpur, said: “Sandbags have been deposited near the national highway to prevent soil erosion. The district administration has stopped heavy vehicles from plying on the road.”
Closing the highway has hit commuters and transport service providers hard.
Mohammed Majid, an autorickshaw driver at Ghogha, said: “The road was dilapidated anyway. Now, it has been completely closed. So, we are unable to ply our vehicles and are not earning anything.”
Traffic movement was also stopped on the Bariarpur-Haveli Kharagpur road after water submerged the thoroughfare. Water has also flooded the government middle school at Kalyanpur in Munger.
Munger sub-divisional officer Kundan Kumar said: “Till now, the traffic movement on NH-80 near Kalyanpur has not been stopped. But if the water rises any more, we would be forced to stop it.”
Sources at Central Water Commission office at Kahalgaon said the water was flowing 52cm at Bhagalpur and 60cm at Kahalgaon. The danger level for the river is 33.68cm.
A source said: “The river water level has been rising at 2cm per hour. It is expected to rise even more in the next 24 hours.”
The villagers, already at their wit’s end with all the losses, are dreading further rise in the water level.
“Floods have led to large-scale soil erosion. My maize plantation — spread over 10 bighas — has been completely destroyed,” said Devki Yadav, a 47-year-old resident of Heru diara in Munger. “I don’t know what will happen if the water-level rises more.”