A receding Kosi is also a problem. Thousands of people across villages in Saharsa, Supaul and Madhepura are unwilling to move to safety in the belief that the worst is over. And their unwillingness is proving to be a major hurdle in the evacuation process.
The government has issued yet another appeal after reports of heavy precipitation in the catchment areas of the Kosi in Nepal and the possibility of heavy monsoon showers in the next few days.
“We have completed the bulk of evacuation work, but there are a few thousands left who are refusing to come out. They are under the false notion that the Kosi has receded, but the reality is that the river can swell again,” said Amrit Pratyay, the Additional Commissioner, Disaster Management Department.
The appeal clearly mentioned the possibility of increase in the water level of the Kosi would be there till October first week.
Army columns were told to start evacuating while more boats supervised by the navy and IAF were pressed into service on Thursday. Printed appeals will be airdropped in flood-hit areas.
The army and navy personnel informed the department on Wednesday and Thursday that a large number of marooned people were unwilling to move out in several pockets. They just want food to be airdropped, hoping things will normalise, said an officer.
“Army jawans traveled five hours to reach some houses in Chhatapur, Uda Kishunganj and other blocks. They had to carry the rubber dinghies as there was not enough water. People on rooftops, however, refused to accompany them,” Pratyay added.
The Water Resources Department had recorded 1.11 lakh cusecs flow in the Kosi mainstream on Wednesday, which suddenly shot up to 1.32 lakh cusecs on Thursday following rainfall. The administration is worried that if the disharge was bigger at 3 lakh cusecs, a huge population could be lost to the floods.