Bihar to set up permanent flood shelters
Taking a cue from neighbouring Orissa, the Bihar government is planning to set up permanent shelters and helipads to tackle future floods in the state.
Informed sources in the state Disaster Management Department said that the idea came from the common shelters constructed in coastal belts of Orissa after the 1999 super cyclone killed over 10,000 people.
The state government has sent a proposal to the Centre for constructing permanent common shelters and helipads in 5,000 villages identified as flood-prone in the state.
"A permanent common shelter would cost Rs 1.5 million and to construct at least 5,000 it cost Rs 7.5 billion," an official said.
The government also plans to construct over 50 helipads where helicopters can land during relief and rescue operations in flood affected areas. Helicopter pilots and officials involved in rescue operations this year complained about lack of helipads to distribute relief materials.
The state government has directed the district administration to locate strategic villages for constructing helipads and permanent common shelters.
This year over 700 people died in devastating floods in the state and an estimated 25 million people were affected in 20 districts.