A central team will visit Bihar in November to assess the extent of damage caused by the recent floods and consider the state government’s demand of Rs 4,111 crore as compensation to meet the loss, a senior official said on Friday.
It would visit the severely affected districts and hold discussions with top officials of the Bihar government during its two-day stay starting November 10, joint secretary in the state disaster management department Anirudh Kumar said.
The team will comprise officials from the Union ministries of home, agriculture and food and public distribution.
The Bihar government assessed the damages following the devastation caused by the rivers and submitted a memorandum to the Centre last month. Kumar said at least 88 lakh people in 31 districts across the state were affected and 254 were killed, adding that 3.65 lakh hectares of land were submerged, causing extensive damage to crops.
“The loss due to floods is temporary, but the loss of land because of river bank erosion is permanent and it has a long-term impact on the economy,” Kumar said.
Out of the 31 flood-affected districts, 12 districts - including Patna, Begusarai and Bhagalpur - felt the maximum impact of the furious Ganga. The Ganga, which rose to a record level of 50.50 metres at Patna, overtopped its banks at many points.
Floods hit Bihar in three phases: four districts of Araria, Katihar, Kishanganj and Purnia were hit first when the Mahananda was in spate and then Ganga riparian districts were inundated in the second phase. The last phase inundated districts in south Bihar.
The state had demanded Rs 14,846 crore when the Kosi embankment at Kusaha in Nepal had breached in 2008, causing untold miseries in all north Bihar districts and killing over 350 people. The then UPA government at the Centre had conceded a grant of Rs 1,000 crore, Kumar said.