A record water discharge into the Kosi River from Nepal brought back fears of last year’s floods that devastated Bihar.
Although the levels receded a little on Wednesday, the exceptionally high discharge in the river over Monday and Tuesday inundated several villages in the low-lying areas of Supaul and Araria districts, 200 kms east of state capital Patna.
While floods are ravaging parts of north Bihar, the rest of the state is facing a drought.
The additional discharge could threaten the river’s embankments, fear residents. “Memories of last year’s flood still haunt us. We can’t trust government officials. They speak more and do little,” said Surya Narayan Yadav, 52, of Supaul’s Kishanpur village.
After heavy rains in Nepal in the last two days, a discharge of 165330 cusecs of water was recorded on Wednesday, according to the flood cell of the water resource department.
Cusec is the measure of flow rate and is informal shorthand for cubic foot per second (28.317 litres per second). It is generally applied to water flow, particularly in rivers.
The eastern Kosi embankment breached on August 18 last, flooding five northern Bihar districts. More than three million people were left homeless.
Supaul district magistrate Kumar Ravi said hundreds of residents staying in low-lying areas had been shifted. “But on Wednesday, with a reduction in the discharge, the situation has eased.” The water level might come down further in the next 24 hours.