| Water woes |
Chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Sunday conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected Nalanda and asked officials to expedite relief work.
Nalanda has been worst hit as 491 villages were under water, affecting lives of eight lakh people. The number of affected people has increased to 18.2 lakh from 16 lakh on Sunday.
“A flood damage estimate would be completed in the next 15 days and the rural works department and the road construction department must start repairing the damaged roads and bridges immediately. The government would also make an estimate of the damaged crops and accordingly a relief plan would be chalked,” said Manjhi, while addressing a high-level review meeting at Rajgir International Convention Centre.
The chief minister expressed disappointment over the Centre’s alleged reluctance to identify the flood- hit districts.
“Twenty-eight districts are flood-prone, however, the Centre considered only 15. We would soon send a memorandum to the Centre seeking a permanent solution to the problem,” said the CM.
Though water has receded in most rivers on Sunday, two more deaths were reported from the flood-affected districts, taking the toll to 26. Purnea, too, is now in the grip of flood, taking the total number of districts hit by flood to 17.
Manjhi stressed the need for spraying bleaching powder in places where the water is receding to minimise chances of water-borne diseases.
Rivers that showed a declining water-level trend over the past 24 hours were Ganga, Sone, Punpun, Ghaghra, Gandak, Bagmati, Kamlabalan and Kosi.
Disaster management special secretary Anirudh Kumar said: “Purnea is a new entrant among the flood-affected districts. Two deaths in Patna and Gopalganj districts have been reported on Sunday. Adequate National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel have been deployed in the flood-affected districts for relief and rescue operation.”
The disaster management department has declared Nalanda, Saharsa, Supaul, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Patna, West Champaran, Sheohar, Araria, Sheikhpura, Khagaria, Gopalganj, Madhepura and Bhagalpur as flood-affected.
Though the water level in most rivers witnessed a declining trend on Sunday, they were flowing above the danger level at various places.
A senior official with the central water commission said the Ganga was flowing above the danger mark by 16cm at Kahalgaon and 68cm at Sahebganj and 89cm at Farraka at 6am on Sunday. However, it was flowing below the danger level at Gandhighat, Hathidah and Bhagalpur.