Bihar minister Lalan Singh denies blaming rats for flood, seemingly ‘reiterates’ claim
The minister quoted documents released by successive governments in the state and at the centre, to show alerts had been issued to keep an eye on the rat holes, which might cause damage to embankments.india Updated: Sep 02, 2017 19:51 IST
Facing ridicule on social media platforms allegedly blaming holes dug by rats for the severity of floods i Bihar, water resources minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, on Saturday, denied categorically he ever made such a claim.
“All I said was we are facing the problem of seepage in the embankments due to rat holes,” Singh said, insisting, that unprecedentedly heavy rainfall in Nepal caused flashfloods in northern districts of Bihar, claiming hundreds of lives and causing untold misery to the people.
Talking to newsmen here, the minister quoted various documents released by successive governments in the state and the centre, to show alerts had been issued to keep an eye on the rat holes, which might cause damage to embankments.
“We faced this problem in the embankments on many rivers, especially Kamla Balan and accordingly we took measures to repair the damages,” he said, sounding as if was ‘reiterating’ his earlier claim that rat holes were to be blamed for damage to embankments.
The minister also requested media persons to visit the embankments to find the truth.
When asked to comment on RJD president Lalu Prasad’s statement that the government was primarily responsible for destruction in North Bihar, Singh said he did not find it wise to comment on non-serious conversation.
The minister said the water resources department was still seized with the flood problem, as water discharge in many rivers including the Gandak, was increasing. “In view of the seriousness of the situation, principal secretary, WRD, Arun Kumar Singh, camped at Samastipur for 12 days. If needed, he may go there again to monitor the situation,” he added.
Singh said owing to the heavy downpour, many rivers were in spade. The only grace was that the Ganga was under control, or else the situation would have been much serious, he added.
The minister said owing to strict vigil by the WRD field engineers, many embankments could be saved. For instance, he said, the swollen Gandak had menacingly attacked the Pipra-Piprasi embankment but it was because of the alertness of the engineers that the protective structure could be saved.