| Flood victims wait for relief material. Telegraph picture |
Patna/Muzaffarpur, Aug. 21: Twenty deaths and still counting.
The wrath of floods in Bihar this year has affected 1.4 million people spread across 14 districts.
Swollen rivers on Thursday claimed two lives — in Darbhanga and Sheohar each.
“Relief operations are on and personnel of National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force are helping us. More than 4,000 people have been shifted to safe locations. With the increase in people, the numbers of relief camps have also been increased from 115 to 133,” said Anirudh Kumar, special secretary, disaster management department.
A total of 1,246 villages have been affected with flood and public property worth Rs 18 lakh has been damaged in Nalanda district.
The floods have also damaged standing crops worth around Rs 56.44 crore so far. At present, districts facing the menace are Patna, Saharsa, Supaul, West Champaran, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Araria, Gopalganj, Sheikhpura, Nalanda, Sheohar, Goaplganj and Khagaria.
Nine blocks of Patna have been hit by flood. “Affected blocks include Belchi, Khusrupur, Barh, Fatuha, Daniawa, Atmangola, Bakhtiyarpur, Ghoswari and Pandarak,” said Patna district magistrate (DM) Manish K. Verma.
However, incessant downpour since Wednesday night has turned the flood situation in north Bihar from bad to worse.
Floodwater has now entered parts of Muzaffarpur town owning to rising level of the Budhi Gandak. Sikandarpur and Balughat in Muzaffarpur town, located 80km north of Patna, have been flooded owing to the swollen Budhi Gandak river,
“The rising water level of Budhi Gandak is giving us sleepless nights,” Balughat resident Ram Babu said.
Muzaffarpur Town MLA Suresh Sharma visited the flood-hit localities of the town and urged the residents to move to safer places. Sharma also spoke to Muzaffarpur DM Anupam Kumar and urged him to take necessary steps.
Reports said the Gandak was posing threat to Paroo, Saraiya, Rewaghat and Sahbeganj in Muzaffarpur, Chakia in East Champaran and Lalganj in Vaishali. The Bagmati, which was flowing 1m above the danger mark, has become a cause of concern at Dubbaghat in Sheohar, Dheng in Sitamarhi and Kataunjha and Benibad in Muzaffarpur.
An official of the Central Water Commission (CWC) said the flood situation was likely to worsen in Gopalganj, East Champaran, West Champaran, Muzaffapur and Vaishali as catchments of the Gandak river at Pokhra in Nepal today received heavy rainfall — around 222.07mm.
The CWC official said apart from heavy rain, 1.77 lakh cusec water was discharged from the Gandak barrage and 2.13 lakh cusec water was discharged from Kosi barrage today.