While the floodwaters of the Gandak receded marginally in North Bihar on Thursday, more than 500,000 people in seven districts of western Uttar Pradesh were hit by the overflowing Yamuna, Ganga, Ramganga and Kosi rivers.
While the floods abated to a small extent in UP’s Moradabad district, six other districts — Muzaffarnagar, Bareilly, Shahjahanpur, Badaun, Bulandshahr and Lakhimpur Kheri — were badly affected.
The state government has pressed army and Indian Air Force helicopters and boats into service to evacuate thousands of people from affected areas.
In Muzaffarnagar’s Dond Kheri village the overflowing Yamuna washed a 27-year-old farmer away after he slipped into the river while returning home from his fields, the police said. His body was recovered later.
Though the floodwaters inn Moradabad receded slightly on Thursday, traffic on the Delhi-Lucknow highway remained disrupted.
Moradabad Inspector General of Police Mohammed Javed Akhtar told Hindustan Times on Thursday, “Massive efforts have been launched to provide adequate relief to people in the affected districts. Though there was some respite from the flood fury in Moradabad, people were yet to return to their homes.”
Clashes over relief
In flood-ravaged Barauli block of Gopalganj district of North Bihar, the scramble for relief materials among villagers led to minor clashes.
The Bihar government has widened the channels of relief by setting up 10 separate teams for each of the 10 flood-affected villages in Barauli.
A marooned family not shifting to a relief camp is now entitled to 50 kg of rice and 50 kg of wheat – and monetary aid of R2,250 for a month.
Asked about reports of clashes over relief Principal Secretary of Disaster Management Department Vyasji said, “We are trying to get confirmation about the clashes but it is only natural for people to expect more, especially when they see fellowmen in adjoining villages having benefited. We are going strictly by rules as far as distribution of relief is concerned.”