The situation in north Bihar worsened on Sunday as floodwaters submerged nearly 200 villages of Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur districts.
An estimated three lakh people have been affected by floods in the Bagmati river, caused by breach in the embankment near Tilak-Tajpur village in Sitamarhi district on Saturday.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas and directed officers in Sitamarhi to take all necessary precautions. He also directed the district administration to provide one quintal of foodgrains and Rs. 2,000 to each affected family.
Claiming that the water level has come down, Kumar said, “The breach will be plugged at the earliest.”
The rescue teams of Sashatra Seema Bal, Border Security Force and National Disaster Response Force began rescue operations on Sunday morning. Equipped with life-jackets, they rescued over 200 people and brought them to the hurriedly made relief camps in Runnisaidpur and Marsonda.
The district administration has pressed into service 50 countryside boats for bringing stranded people to safe places.
Divisional Commissioner, Tirhut, S.M. Raju said the water level of the river has stabilised. “The engineers have assured to plug the breach in next 24 hours,” he said.
Till Friday, the district administration and engineers had claimed there was no threat to the embankment from the rising level of water in Bagmati river. According to official sources, the embankment was repaired and strengthened last year.
However, villagers claim they had informed officials about a six-inch hole in the embankment. But no move was initiated to repair it.
The CM has ordered an inquiry into the issue.