Thousands without food, water, medicines in flooded Bihar


Patna, Aug 4 :Hundreds of thousands of people in Bihar have been displaced by severe floods and are without food, drinking water and essential medicines for days. Nature's fury has claimed over 80 lives, destroyed hundreds of homes and simply cut off several districts.

While dozens drowned in floodwaters, some died of starvation. Others breathed their last after catching diseases like malaria, kala azar and diarrhoea. Some were bitten to death by snakes.

In the last five days, several newborn babies died due to absence of health care in areas that have become isolated islands. Many elderly people were hit hard, with many tragically left behind in inundated villages by younger members of families eager to escape.

Well over 10 million people have been affected across 18 of Bihar's 38 districts in what officials say has been the worst flooding in three decades. Many are living dangerously on embankments, highways, rooftops and any high place they find to keep alive.

The worst hit districts include Sitamarhi, Saharsa, East Champaran, Darbhanga, Supaul, Katihar, Madhubani and Samastipur, said officials in the state disaster management department.

Officials admitted that large areas were faced with acute shortage of food items, drinking water and health facilities.

Indian Air Force helicopters have begun airdropping food packets in the worst hit Darbhanga district.

As floodwaters threatened Khagaria district, about 755 prisoners lodged in the district jail were shifted to jails in Begusarai and Bhagalpur for safety.

The decision to shift the inmates was taken following a breach in the Karachin Badlaghat embankment in Samastipur district two days ago, threatening to inundate Khagaria town. Now all jails in flood-hit areas have been put on high alert.

Officials say that the situation is unlikely to improve in the next couple of days as all major rivers, including Bagmati, Adhvara, Kosi, Mahananda and Gandak, are flowing above the danger level at many places.




It has become every year's news and oppoisition parties immediately starts blaming ruling party. The turn is for NDA (present State Govt.).

In this context, I wish to inform you and as rightly stated by Nitish Kumar that unless all rivers are attached to each other, this situation will be the fate of the people residing close to the banks of rivers as mentioned in this news.

The Central Govt. must approve the proposal sent by Nitish Kumar some times ago with regard to connect each river with another, only then the matter will be sorted out in the long run. The second important thing, Central Govt. must take up Bihar flood matter with their counterparts in Nepal, who without realising the damage to India side, just open the volve of their canals in order to release excess water which starts ultimately flooding Bihar side.

It is a matter of grave concern that billions of rupees crops, valuable human life and properties are being washed away due to this unwanted flood. Sooner the action taken will be better for our state which are experiencing extremely difficult situation. I appreciate Nitish Kumar's initiative for personally supervising the relief effort at Patna Airport (State Hanger). Again question comes, whether this year's relief effort will land up in any controversy? As happened with the then Patna DM, Mr. Goswamy.

Mohammad Yasar Imran
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

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