Tuesday 31 July 2007

Flood situation worsens in Bihar

The flood situation in Darbhanga, Muzafarpur and Madhubani districts took an alarming turn on Sunday. The swirling water of the menacing Bagmati river entered about a dozen localities of Darbhanga town, its airport and the base of Bihar Military Police (BMP), apart from posing threat to the official residence of the DM and the busy market around Darbhanga Tower.

Overtopping of roads and breach caused at some points on the roads have cut off Darbhanga, Madhubani and Sitamarhi districts from the state headquarters.It is being said that it could necessitate orchestration of relief and rescue operations from Patna. The use of Air Force choppers and Army boats is on the government's agenda.

The Air Force command and Danapur cantonment have been kept on high alert in this regard to receive the communication regarding their deployment for the rescue and relief operations.In north Bihar, the incessant 15-day rain both in Nepal and catchment areas of the major rivers has caused flood affecting over 17 lakh people in 41 blocks of 11 districts in north Bihar.

The most affected districts have been Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur. Now Darbhanga has fallen victim to the fury of Bagmati and Adhwara group of rivers, while Madhubani to that of Kamla Balan and Bhutahi Balan rivers.The other major rivers -- Ganga, Kosi, Burhi Gandak and Gandak -- have remained relatively tamed, even as the Ganga has been causing erosion in Ramayanpur village of Manihari block in Katihar district, said water resources minister Ramashray Prasad Singh.Given the new sounding of alarm and anticipated flood in the other districts, governor RS Gavai asked the ministers and MLAs to camp in their areas to be present during relief distribution. Gavai also asked the government to supply adequate quantity of medicines to fight diarrhoea and dysentery as well as cases of snake bite.

Meanwhile, swollen Bagmati continued to cause disruptions and collateral damage. The three pillars of Ghulam Sarwar bridge, constructed across Bagmati river near Arai village in 2004 in the name of former agriculture minister Ghulam Sarwar, collapsed, snapping the road link between Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur districts.

The scene of occurrence is 20 km away from Darbhanga town. No human casualty has been reported. Around two dozens of people, who were on the bridge, later swam to safety.

The flood water from Bagmati overtopped Darbhanga-Muzaffarpur highway at quite a few points and also breached it at one point.It has snapped Muzaffarpur-Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur-Sitamarhi road links. The link between Muzaffarpur and Motihari has been also snapped due to sinking of road at one point near Motipur.

The waters of swollen Kamla Balan, Bhutahi Balan and Adhwara group of rivers had also overtopped or submerged roads and railway tracks in Madhubani district. The movement of trains on Darbhanga and Samastipur route has been suspended.

Meanwhile, the Congress legislature party (CLP) lea-der in the state assembly, Ashok Kumar, appealed to the government to take steps for the restoration of the roads linking Biraul, Kusheshwar Sthan, Rosera and Singhia-Bahedi, apart from launching rescue and relief operations.__._,_.___

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