Embankment damage scares people

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By GAUTAM SARKAR
  • Published 29.08.11
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Bhagalpur, Aug. 28: The embankment at Raghopur under Bihpur block was damaged by the Ganga this morning, suggesting the flood fear is far from over though the water of the river is receding,

The latest breach has affected a population of more than 12 lakh in 25 panchayats under the Naugachia sub-division of the district, where Raghopur is located.

Besides, standing crops like banana and maize have been submerged in the floodwater. Several fields where crops were being cultivated have been submerged.

The water resources department had declared that the portion of the embankment, which was damaged by the swift current of the Ganga today, is “supersensitive”.

R.L. Dayal, the engineer-in-chief of the water resources department (north), said despite all the efforts by the department, the river’s current created large scale erosion and damaged the embankment.

Kailu Sardar, the chief engineer of the department at the Bhagalpur division, who has been camping at the site of the embankment over past two weeks, said: “All efforts by the department did not prove worthwhile because of the huge erosion by the river.”

Experts said although the water level decreased to 38cm below the danger mark, the swift current of the river resulted in erosions.

“Because of the deposit of a lot of silt, the river’s course changed direction towards the south. The course of the river has diverted towards the Vikramshila bridge and is now posing a serious threat to the nearby Kazi Koriya embankment,” an expert told The Telegraph.

Observers blamed the water resources department for not taking proper measures like construction of spurs to divert the intensity of the water current towards the Vikramshila bridge.

Experts observed that Ganga was acting like Kosi, which causes serious erosions once its water starts receding after floods.

BJP MLA from Bihpur Engineer Sailendra has demanded a judiciary enquiry into today’s episode.

“Crores of rupees have been spent and senior engineers with a large number of workers have been busy in fighting taking measures to control flood but nobody has been able to protect the embankment,” Sailendra said.

He said: “With the damage of the embankment several villages like Tailgee, Dhrubganj, Kharik, Kathila, Athania, Tulshipur have been inundated. The floodwater has also created pressure on road number 14, Jamunia-Bihpur Road, which runs parallel to National Highway 30, and the approach road to Vikramshila bridge.”

A public welfare department engineer denied any such pressure being created on the two roads. “Since the water level of the river started receding, any major damage to the roads is not possible,” the engineer said.

Meanwhile, the conditions remained grim at over 153 villages across the sub-division, which were reeling from flood.