Cofferdam on Bagmati caves in, villages flooded

Incessant rainfall for the last three days has increased the threats of floods. District authorities have alerted people in the flood hit blocks and those living in the vicinity of the Bagmati river to move to safer places.
The second cave-in of the cofferdam on Bagmati vividly has also exposed the administrative apathy in tackling floods, which are common in the region.(HT Photo)
The second cave-in of the cofferdam on Bagmati vividly has also exposed the administrative apathy in tackling floods, which are common in the region.(HT Photo)
Published on Jul 10, 2019 01:40 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Muzaffarpur | ByK J Saquib

A cofferdam on the Bagmati river embankment near Benipur in Muzaffarpur’s Aurai block caved in yet again on Monday evening, second time in last 10 days, causing floods in at least a dozen villages. 

No casualty, however, has been reported.

Incessant rainfall for the last three days has increased the threats of floods. District authorities have alerted people in the flood hit blocks and those living in the vicinity of the Bagmati river to move to safer places.

The water resources department has haphazardly set up a control room along Bagmati river embankment in Aurai and deputed junior engineers,  assistant engineers, supervisors and watchmen to keep a tab on the rising water level, monitoring of embankment and ensuring availability of sand bags, stones and other work forces to meet any eventuality. 

The second cave-in of the cofferdam on Bagmati vividly has also exposed the administrative apathy in tackling floods, which are common in the region.

District magistrate Alok Ranjan Ghosh, however, has warned of action against officials if the incident recurred. Ghosh said the repair work has begun and the situation was being monitored closely.

“Heavy current in Bagmati river water has largely damaged the cofferdam and drifted its subsidiary water flow from the central channel,” said the Auria block circle officer SL Biswas.

“Flood water has entered the adjoining villages and overtopped roads, snapping road communication.”   

“Villagers are living in a state of nervousness owing to frequent caving in of the cofferdam,” said Sailesh Kumar of Atrar village. “We remain vigilant during night hours as threats of the rising water level in Bagmati river are looming large,” said Mohammad Mustafa of Chainpur village. 

Officials said 24 crore was invested in protecting the long stretch of embankment on Bagmati river in Aurai by paving way for the central channel of river current and the cofferdam.

But the abrupt caving in of the cofferdam has aggravated the flood situation in the villages of Aurai. Officials said the flood water has submerged homes in Benipur, Sarhanchia, Bachuvara, Chainpur, Matihani, Pratap, Berona, Fatehpur and Atrar.

Meanwhile, the water level in Bagmati, Budhi Gandak and Gandak rivers is rising menacingly with each passing day following heavy rainfall lashing almost entire Bihar for last two days.  

 According to the Central Water Commission, 65,000 cusecs of water has been released from Valmikinagar Barrage into Gandak river. 

The downpour in the catchment areas of Nepal and subsequent release of water from Valmikinagar Barrage, is further set to add to the miseries of both the people and administrative officials in north Bihar districts. 

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Monday, November 29, 2021