Floods continue to ravage Bihar, Assam, West Bengal: People decry govt apathy after over one crore affected
Heavy rains and floods continue to add to the miseries of the over one crore people who have been affected in the states of Assam, Bihar and West Bengal.
Heavy rains and floods continue to add to the miseries of the over one crore people who have affected in the states of Assam, Bihar and West Bengal. The death toll due to these floods continue to increase rapidly and on Friday, over 140 animal carcasses were found at Kaziranga National Park.
Train and railway services in these states have also been affected, with many lines inundated or damaged by the rains.
Bihar: One of the worst-affected states seems to be Bihar, as the death toll in the state has now climbed to 119, however unconfirmed reports has put the death toll at 150. The Bihar disaster management department official said that over 98 lakh people in 1,532 panchayats under 139 blocks in 16 districts have been affected by the deadly deluge.
"With reports of major rivers in spate breaching banks, inundating new areas and displacing thousands since Thursday night, the number of affected people is likely to cross one crore on Friday," the official said.
The worst-hit Araria district has reported 23 deaths, followed by 12 in Sitamarhi and 11 each in Kishanganj, East Champaran, West Champaran and Supaul. In Madhubani, seven deaths have been reported, followed by Madhepura and Purnea districts where the toll was five each.
The toll in Darbhanga and Saharsa districts was four each, while that in Gopalganj and Khagaria was three each.
Heavy rains have washed away thousands of huts, damaged buildings, roads, bridges and standing crops. Indian Army has been called in to assist the civil administration in relief operations. In the last four days, National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), army and other rescue teams have evacuated 4,08,903 people to safer places.
There is a growing discontentment among the people who are accusing the state government and Centre for not providing any help — although the state government has set up 1,238 relief camps. People are struggling to survive, with many living in the open, using just sarees to resist the heavy downpour.
The health department has also launched a toll-free number 104 to provide information on floods. Hospitals have been directed to maintain a sufficient stock of anti-snake and anti-rabies injections.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has expressed his concern over the "grim flood situation" and said the flood was caused by incessant rains in Nepal. He also conducted an aerial survey of the marooned areas and took stock of the situation. He was accompanied by state deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh.
Calling the situation in the state "worst in almost three decades", Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured all possible help to the state.
Assam: Situation in the eastern state has worsened, with eight rivers flowing above the danger level, inundating 25 of the state's 32 districts and affecting 31.55 lakh people.
According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), 31.55 lakh people are affected at present in the state. Dhubri is the worst affected with 8.13 lakh people hit, followed by Morigaon with 5.30 lakh people hit by the deluge.
Authorities are running 602 relief camps and distribution centres in 21 districts. The NDRF, SDRF and district administration personnel have rescued nearly 3,500 people to safer places in many districts.
The flood has cut off Dhemaji district in the eastern part of the state completely from the rest of the world. The Kumotia bridge, which connects it to Lakhimpur in Assam and to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, has been closed as per the district administration's order.
While the death toll is low this time, the extent of damage is quite high, as Firstpost had previously reported. The devastating flood also gripped the Kaziranga National Park inundating 80 percent of the 481 square kilometre area and claiming lives of over 140 animals, including seven rhinos.
Sensing the urgency in the situation, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday rushed to New Delhi to discuss the flood situation with Modi. Besides drawing the attention of the prime minister, Sonowal also discussed the probable modus operandi for thrashing out a permanent solution to flood and erosion.
Earlier, Modi had called Sonowal twice in as many days and has expressed his concern over the situation.
West Bengal: The neighbour state of Bihar and Assam has also got its share of destruction, claiming 95 lives so far and affecting over a lakh people. Apart from the worst-hit Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri districts, North Dinajpur, Cooch Behar and Malda districts were also affected in the flood, sources in the district administrations said. Many of the flood affected people have taken shelter in relief camps.
Meanwhile, around 59,398 hectares of paddy seedbed has been damaged out of the 3,17,675 hectares of cultivated land.
The state administration is monitoring the relief and rescue operations round-the-clock as per the instructions by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The chief minister had earlier accused the Centre of not helping the state government to tackle the havoc.
With railway tracks flooded at many places in Katihar and Alipurduar divisions of North East Frontier Railways, a number of long distance trains have either been cancelled, diverted and short terminated.
Meghalaya: Around 1.2 lakh people have been displaced in the West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya due to floods caused by the rising of the Brahmaputra tributary, the Jingiram river. No loss of life has been reported so far, said an offical on Wednesday while adding that 30 relief camps have been set up to accommodate those affected.
Crops on large tracts of agricultural land, besides fish ponds, have also been damaged. Deputy chief minister of Meghalaya, Roytre Christopher Laloo, incharge of Revenue and Disaster Management, reviewed the flood situation on Wednesday in a meeting with heads of government departments concerned.
Uttar Pradesh: More than 450 villages in several districts across the state has been affected, although the situation has slowly been improving.
NDRF teams are providing food and drinking water to the flood-hit people with the help of 169 boats. With the flood situation worsening, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday spoke to the top officials and sought the latest updates on the flood situation. The flood situation in many districts of western Uttar Pradesh is quite worse and has marooned thousands of people.
While water has started receding in Balrampur district, a vigil is also being maintained on the water level of the Rapti river in Gorakhpur.
With inputs from agencies
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