The Ganga spilled over its ghats in Bihar capital on Tuesday and entered several localities close to its banks posing a threat to the city of 20 lakh people. It is flowing above the danger level across the state endangering the districts located along it.
The river water level at Gandhi Ghat, located at the middle of its flow along Patna city, was 49.72m, which was 112cm above the danger level of 48.60m, and the river was showing a rising trend.
The Gandhi ghat was submerged and water was spilling over on its approach road. Floodwaters from the Ganga have engulfed several localities and high-rises along its banks in Patna. Many villages on the outskirts in Danapur, Maner and Fathuha areas have also been flooded.
People living in the affected localities and villages have started moving to higher and safer areas with their valuables and cattle.
“The level of water in the Ganga increased further and floodwaters started entering my home around 3am. We had been watching the rising river for the last few days and were alert. We have shifted furniture, food grains and other things to the first floor and sent most of the family members to stay with other relatives in the town for the time being,” said Amitesh Singh, a resident of the Rajapur Pul area along the Ganga in Patna.
Water resources department (WRD) engineer-in-chief (flood control and water drainage) Rajesh Kumar pointed out to The Telegraph that the level of the Ganga at Gandhi Ghat was still 80cm below the highest flood level of 50.52m recorded in 2016.
“Water in the Ganga is coming from other states increasing its level. However, we are prepared to meet any eventuality. We have placed sandbags at the 102 gates of the Patna Town Protection Wall along the river and have wooden sheets ready to block them if water level rises further,” Kumar said.
Other smaller rivers surrounding Patna are also in spate worsening the situation in the rural areas that have been flooded by them for more than a week now. The discharge of water from these rivers has been adversely affected due to the high level of water in the Ganga.
Incidentally, the mighty river is flowing above the danger mark at almost all the places from Buxar where it enters the state to Katihar where it exits to enter Bengal. It is showing a rising trend due to continued heavy rains in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
The river was rising at around 1cm per hour in Buxar submerging villages, roads and agricultural fields in several blocks like Buxar Sadar, Chakki, Bramhapur and Chausa. People have started shifting to safer areas. Floodwater was flowing on the important Chausa–Mohania Road and had also surrounded the thermal power plant area in Chausa
However, Buxar district magistrate Aman Samir told this newspaper that there was “not much problem due to the floods and not much population has been affected.”
Floods from the Ganga have also affected Barhara, Ara, Shahpur and Bihiya blocks of Bhojpur district.