Even as floods affect millions in India, Maharashtra's Latur region is relieved of drought

Even as reports have emerged of the floods that have displaced millions of the country's residents, Latur region in Maharashtra is now filled to the brim with water

FP Staff August 01, 2016 11:57:09 IST
Even as floods affect millions in India, Maharashtra's Latur region is relieved of drought

As incessant rains pound different parts of the country and displace millions of residents, especially in the north and the east, one by one, reports have emerged of the grim situation that India is facing.

An Al Jazeera report said that at least 52 people have been killed and an estimated two million people affected, stranded in their homes, and suffering damage to their crops, land and livelihood.

Over 10,000 people have been rescued by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), according to a report in The Hindu, and medical camps have been set up in Assam and Bihar to provide care to 1,233 persons.

Bihar is one of the worst-hit states with more than 2.6 million people affected, including half a million who have been displaced across 12 districts, officials said. Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav visited the flood-affected Supaul district on Sunday and said, "We are fully prepared to provide relief and rescue the affected people."

Even as floods affect millions in India Maharashtras Latur region is relieved of drought

A flood-affected family moves on a banana raft in Assam. Photo: PTI.

The government has deployed 587 personnel of the NDRF and the state disaster response force in the worst hit areas. Of the five lakh people displaced till Sunday, nearly 2.50 lakh are living in different shelters. The government has set up 412 relief camps and deployed 1,019 boats in relief and rescue work.

Major rivers in the state including the Koshi, Gandak, Bagmati and Ganga are in spate following heavy rains, officials said.

In Assam, the death toll touched 31 on Sunday and the situation remained critical with nearly 17 lakh people across the state being affected by the floods. Morigaon district is the worst affected with nearly 3.5 lakh people hit, followed by Darrang and Goalpara where around 1.4 lakh and 1.38 lakh people are affected respectively, according to Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA).

Nearly 1.5 lakh hectares of crop area are still submerged and a number of roads, embankments, bridges and other infrastructure have been washed away, the ASDMA report said. The Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger mark at Nematighat in Jorhat, Goalpara and Dhubri towns while its tributaries Dhansiri crossed the mark at Numaligarh in Golaghat, Jia Bharali at NT Road Crossing in Sonitpur, Puthimari at NH Road Crossing in Kamrup and Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta, it said.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in Assam on Saturday to review the flood situation. He also took an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas along with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and held a review meeting.

Himachal Pradesh, which is experiencing moderate to heavy rainfall on Monday, has been affected by landslides that have blocked two major national highways, while all the rivers were in spate, according to officials. The National Highway-21, linking Chandigarh with Manali, closed for over six hours near Hanogi temple in Mandi district, was reopened partially on Monday. Likewise, the National Highway-5, which was closed near Rampur town, some 120 km the state capital, was restored after three hours of closure. Two people were injured when debris fell on their truck near the Hanogi temple.

Meanwhile, a government spokesperson said the Satluj, Beas and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries have been in spate in Kinnaur, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts.

Major cities haven't been spared either.

Gurugram faced a massive traffic jam on Friday. The situation remained the same on Saturday with long tailbacks in gridlocked roads due to severe waterlogging on National Highway-8, after heavy rains lashed Delhi's satellite city leaving thousands of commuters stranded and forcing authorities to clamp prohibitory orders. Many motorists abandoned their vehicles and waded through knee-deep water that accumulated on both the carriageways of Delhi-Jaipur road, including Hero Honda Chowk, bringing traffic to a standstill with the tailback extending up to 15-20 km.

On Thursday, 28 July, heavy incessant rain paralysed normal life in several parts of Bengaluru, leaving in its wake waterlogged roads, flooded houses and severe traffic jams. Low-lying areas such as Kodichikkanahalli and Bilekahalli were the worst affected by the flooding as water entered houses following the breach of a lake. The city which is inundated with traffic even on rain-free days, the rains left a long pile-up of vehicles on roads across the city, particularly on the routes leading to Electronics City, the IT hub.

The Bellandur avd Varthur lakes spilled froth on the roads on Saturday, spewing white foamy clouds in the air, reported The Hindu. Residents were seen catching fish in the overflowing lake water at 29th Main, BTM.

Amid all this, there's a reason to cheer about: The drought-prone Latur region in Maharashtra is now filled to the brim with water. According to a report in The Indian Express, Manjara river, which was dry until last week, is now flowing getting filled up. Following heavy rain, two barrages — Sai and Nagzari — now hold an abundant amount of water.

A report in the Hindustan Times said that Latur's residents, who usually have to rely on water tankers, will now get tap water once in 15 days. Latur, this summer, survived on 35 lakh litres to 50 lakh litres a day of water supply, which happens to be just a tenth of its requirement.

With inputs from agencies

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