Erosion havoc in Bhagalpur

The spectre of the 2016 flood is back in rural Bhagalpur, inflicting colossal damage on public property and roads.

By Gautam Sarkar in Bhagalpur
  • Published 12.09.18

Bhagalpur: The spectre of the 2016 flood is back in rural Bhagalpur, inflicting colossal damage on public property and roads.

Over 650 students of Bindh Toli in one of the badly hit blocks of Gopalpur in the district have lost the scope to learn and enjoy their midday meal, as raging floodwaters of the Ganga have destroyed the entire building of the Government Primary School with its four rooms, a hall and a kitchen.

The strong river current started eroding the building from September 10 afternoon and by evening, the entire ground from under the building was washed away.

"Where can we go to learn and have our midday meal now?" Shilti Kumari, a student of Class III of the school, asked innocently. Teary-eyed Shilti, along with her friends, stood on the riverbank looking at the remains of their school building.

Sashikala Kumari, the headmistress of the primary school, said the school had been vacated on Monday afternoon after they noticed the approaching floodwater and current.

Anil Singh, a native of Bindh Toli, said almost the village had disappeared into the riverbed.

"In the past 3-4 days, 25 houses, along with huge chunks of village land, have been gobbled by the Ganga. The flood has broken our backbone. Now, we do not have any shelter and have to live under the open sky facing the scorching sun and rain," said another resident of the village. They also complained that they had not yet received any relief material from the local administration.

"The water-level has compounded the intensity of erosion on National Highway 80 from Brahamasthan to Ghoshpur under the Sabour block. This stretch has developed cracks apart from the already damaged flanks of the road," said Lakshmi Narayan Singh, superintendent engineer, national highway circle, Bhagalpur. Singh added that the department had been trying to counter the highway erosion with geo bags containing sand.

The water-level flowed 46cm above the danger level on Tuesday. Traffic on this stretch of NH-80 has remained suspended from September 8 mid night.

According to district magistrate Pranav Kumar, 73 villages falling under 24 panchayat with a population of more than 41,340 have been worst affected.

Over 18,485 cattle have also been affected by the flood, while crops planted on 27,536 hectares costing nearly Rs 2.74 crore have been destroyed in Bhagalpur. He said all officials and staff concerned have been asked to initiate relief and rescue operations in their respective areas.