Gandak continues to wreak havoc in E Champaran

Published on Sep 02, 2021 09:34 PM IST
At least 15 houses and a government school have been damaged in the past two days due to the erosion caused by the turbulent Gandak river, at Sakhawa Tok village in Areraj
A house submerged in floodwater. (Prashant Kumar/HT Photo)
A house submerged in floodwater. (Prashant Kumar/HT Photo)
BySandeep Bhaskar, Bettiah

At least 15 houses and a government school have been damaged in the past two days due to the erosion caused by the turbulent Gandak river, at Sakhawa Tok village in Areraj, officials said on Thursday.

Pawan Kumar Jha, circle officer (CO), Areraj, said the exact number of the houses collapsed by erosion would only be known after the water level recedes. “As per the information available with us, approximately 15 houses and parts of a primary school at Sakhawa Tok have collapsed between August 31 and September 1,” said Jha.

“No loss to the lives reported so far. The villagers were shifted to safer places after they were alerted by the district administration,” the CO said.

A village resident, identified as Yogindar Yadav (60), said, “The way the erosion happened, we knew the collapse was imminent. Therefore, we left the house about ten days back with whatever household articles we could take,” said Yadav. He has taken shelter in a makeshift tent house on an embankment in neighbouring Bhartoli village under Danapur panchayat in Gopalganj.

Kamendra Mani Tiwari, the former village head and representative of village mukhiya Anisha Devi, said has put the total number of houses collapsed between 40 and 50. “Villagers have been facing the threat of displacement since the 1990s because of regular flooding. Several families have been displaced since a village called Sakhawa was engulfed by Gandak in 2005,” said Tiwari

When contacted, Sanjay Kumar, district education officer (DEO), East Champaran confirmed the collapse of parts of Rajkiya Prathamik Vidhalay at Sakhawa Tok. “We will get the condition of the school examined after floods,” said the DEO.

Meanwhile, as many as 83,000 people dwelling in low lying areas of East Champaran and 6,000 people in Gopalganj are still affected by floods. “We are running eight community kitchens in the district,” said Dr Nawal Kishor Choudhary, district magistrate (DM), Gopalganj district.

“People living in parts of Sangrampur, Kesariya, Areraj, Sagauli, Chirraiya and Banjariya in East Champaran are affected. Six community kitchens have been set up for them,” said Anil Kumar, additional district magistrate (ADM) and in charge of disaster management.

Bhaskar, CO at Nautan in West Champaran, described the situation as under control. “Water has receded fast,” he said.

Meanwhile, a man, identified as temple priest Krishnandan Ojha (36), died after he was struck by lightning at Bankatwa in Bagaha 1, West Champaran on Thursday morning, officials said.

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