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Kids hungry in flooded colony

- Relief eludes Bagbera, Met office predicts more rain

The East Singhbhum district administration’s claim that relief is reaching flash flood victims of Bagbera on time seems to be a blatant lie.

Around 50 families of Nayi Basti in Bagbera, whose houses were inundated on Monday evening after a swelling Kharkai crossed its danger mark, have not received food for almost 24 hours, forget other relief paraphernalia like tarpaulin sheets and candles.

Hum log kal raat se yahan hain. Koi puchne wala nahin hain. Raat ko light bhi nahin tha, mombati kharidna pada. Khane-pine ka koi vyavasta nahin hain (We were made to shift to a shelter, but there was no one to look after us. There was no light and we had to purchase candles from the market at night. There is no arrangement for food and water),” said Binoda Devi (48), a resident of Nayi Basti who has put up at an upgraded primary school in Bagbera along with her four children.

Embarrassed by the “callous approach” of the district administration, staff of the state-owned school made stopgap arrangements on Tuesday. “Around 15 children from different families whose houses have been flooded were hungry and we decided to give them food — whatever was left over from the midday meal as many students had not turned up since the flash floods,” said Chando Devi, the convener.

Additional deputy commissioner Ganesh Kumar feigned ignorance over delay in relief measures. “Bagbera does not fall under municipal area and hence, Jamshedpur circle officer Prabhat Bhusan had been asked to supervise arrangements for evacuees at relief centres. I will speak to the official and ensure that edible items are available,” he said.

Meanwhile, a let-up in torrential rain and gate closure at Bankabal and Sulaipat dams in Odisha since morning made the water levels in Kharkai and Subernarekha recede.

According to sources at the flood control cell of Subernarekha Multipurpose Project, the Kharkai was flowing at a height of 121.92 metres in Adityapur at 6pm, its danger mark being 129 metres. Subernarekha, on the other hand, was at 121.42 metres in Mango against a risk limit of 121.5 metres.

Despite the rivers ebbing, several low-lying areas in Bagbera, Jugsalai and Shastrinagar continued to remain inundated till the filing of this report. Worse, weathermen have predicted more rain in the next 24 hours.