With respite from rains, flood situation eases in Bihar

(Representative Image) (PTI File Photo)

This monsoon has been unprecedented for Bihar. Normally, floods occur in August and September. But in 2019, the scene has reversed. In July, at least 13 districts, out of total 38, were affected by a flash flood. Most of these districts share a border with Nepal. Apart from incessant rainfall in north Bihar, heavy downpour in the Himalayan Kingdom added to the problem. Altogether, 134 persons died in the flood this year while more than 84 lakh people were hit. Sitamarhi and Madhubani topped the chart with 37 and 30 deaths respectively. Both the districts share a border with Nepal, which releases several lakh cusecs of water every year. Most of the rivers which originate in Nepal, flow through Bihar thereby inundating several lakh hectares of land.

“The floods has affected 25.92 lakh families,” said Pratyaya Amrit, principal secretary, Bihar Disaster Management Department. Experts have suggested the construction of dams along the Bihar-Nepal border which may help in curbing the annual flood problem. But since the border falls in the seismic zone, neither India nor Nepal is willing to take such risk (of constructing dams). “It’s for the Centre to take up the matter with Nepal and come out with a long-term solution,” said a state government official.

Root cause:

Altogether, 134 persons died in the flood this year while more than 84 lakh people were hit in the flood-affected districts. Of the total casualties, Sitamarhi and Madhubani topped the chart with 37 and 30 deaths respectively. Both the districts share a border with Nepal, which releases several lakh cusecs of water every year, which, in turn, inundates Bihar areas.

Most of the rivers which originate from Nepal, including Bagmati, Gandak and Burhi Gandak, flow through Bihar thereby inundating several lakh hectares of land between July and September.

Experts have suggested the construction of dams along the Bihar-Nepal border which may help in curbing annual flood problem. But since the border falls in the seismic zone, neither India nor Nepal is willing to take such risk (of constructing dams). Otherwise, in case of an earthquake, the loss of human lives could be incalculable.   

“It’s for the Centre to take up the matter with Nepal and come out with long-term solution on flood in Bihar,” said a senior official of the State Government.

“The floods affected 25.92 lakh families in 13 north Bihar districts. However, after water started receding, there has been no report of any fresh death from the flood-affected districts,” said Principal Secretary, Disaster Management Department, Pratyaya Amrit. 

Till August 1, food was being served to flood-affected persons through community kitchen. But now that the situation has improved, the community kitchen has been closed.

Meanwhile, the Nitish regime transferred Rs 6000 each for the family affected by the flood. “A total sum of Rs 181.39 crore was transferred to the bank accounts of 3,02,329 verified flood-affected families,” said a senior official of the Disaster Management Department.

“This is a gratuitous relief (GR) money. Others, who have not availed of this benefit, should open their bank accounts so that the relief amount could be transferred to them,” said Nitish, while taking stock of the flood situation in North Bihar.

Soon, others gave their account details. “We distributed GR fund to around 11 lakh families within a fortnight,” said Amrit.

Comments (+)