Rising Ganga reminder of Kosi tragedy

In 2008, it was the Kosi river which wreaked havoc and caused incalculable loss in eastern Bihar. Five years down the line, it’s the mighty Ganga which has spelt doom and flooded areas of at least 10 districts.

From Buxar (where the Ganga enters Bihar) to Bhagalpur, the swollen river has changed its course and inundated several lakh hectares of land thereby causing a loss of Rs 113 crore. Crops in five lakh hectares have been completely destroyed.  The government figures say that 171 people have died since June in flood in different parts of Bihar.

Ironically, this has happened when Bihar has got deficient rainfall of 26 per cent and many of the central Bihar districts are on the verge of being declared drought-hit.
In that case, what caused the flood in 2013? High-level sources in the Water Resources Department here said that the Kosi was a man-made tragedy as people in Nepal breached a highway near Kusaha (Nepal) which made the river (Kosi) to change its course and inundate vast areas in Saharsa, Khagaria, Purnia and Madhepura.

But this year, the Ganga has submerged huge tracts of land in Buxar, Ara, Saran, Patna, Vaishali, Begusarai, Khagaria, Munger and Bhagalpur precisely because there had been more than normal rainfall in Uttarakhand (where Ganga originates) and Uttar Pradesh (through which it passes before entering Bihar).

“The local rainfall has added only 3 per cent rise in the water level of the Ganga passing through Bihar.

The flood this year is due to heavy discharge of water into the Ganga following heavy rainfall in Uttarakhand and UP, which has made the river inundate many districts through which it passes,” said a superintending engineer (SE) of Flood Control Division.

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