Patna, Sept. 3: A 10-metre-wide breach in an embankment on the Ganga at Gogri Narayanpur in north Bihar’s Khagaria district, 180km east of the state capital, today played havoc with dozens of villages and forced thousands of people to flee for safer zones.
Sources at the disaster management department said the breach in the embankment occurred around 3 in the morning, immediately inundating Lagar Karuna village and its adjoining hamlets. The marooned people have been evacuated to the National Highway 31 and other roads.
Officer on special duty, disaster management, Sandeep Kumar said: “A team of engineers has rushed to the site to patch the breach. Rescue and relief teams are working to help the people”.
Local sources, however, said that 450 cusec of water was gushing through the breach, making it hard for the engineers and workers to fill it. The breach had not been patched till the time of filing this report.
Though the officials had not compounded the toll specific to the breach at Gogri Narayanpur, they put the total death toll caused by the floods in 20 districts of the state at 161. The affected districts are Kishanganj, Purnea, Araria, Muzaffarpur, Supaul, Saharsa, Gopalganj, Bhagalpur, Katihar, Saran, Patna, Bhojpur, Buxar, Vaishali, Begusarai, Khagaria, Munger, Samastipur, Lakhisarai and East Champaran.
Unlike the Kosi and other rivers originating from Nepal which caused floods earlier, it is the Ganga that has caused the maximum destruction this year.
Flood expert Dinesh Mishra put things in perspective. “The 2008 flood caused by the Kosi was more man-made than a natural calamity. The people in Nepal breached a highway at Kusaha leading the river to change its course and inundate several north Bihar districts.
“The floods this year have happened due to high discharge from the river Ganga. Though Bihar has got deficient rainfall of 26 per cent, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand registered heavy rainfall, bringing the Ganga under spate. The rain-fed river entered Bihar through Buxar and has flooded all the districts it passes through,” Mishra said.
Water resources minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary expressed surprise. “We do not remember the Ganga’s water level going so high,” he said. Choudhary said the department had directed its engineers to keep a “strict vigil” on the embankments.
According to officials at the Central Water Commission, the Ganga was flowing 126cm above the danger mark at Gandhi Ghat here.