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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Flood fears in north Bihar after drought worries in the state

Though there is no immediate threat of flood, authorities in Saharsa and Purnia districts are also on alert, given the devastation caused by floods in recent years, particularly in 2008 and 2017, when almost 1,000 people died.

patna Updated: Jul 09, 2019 14:58 IST
K J Saquib and Aditya Nath Jha
K J Saquib and Aditya Nath Jha
Hindustan Times, Muzaffarpur/Purnia/Saharsa
According to Central Water Commission, there will be huge flow and current in Bagmati, Budhi Gandak and Gandak rivers and their tributaries in the wake of heavy downpour in their catchment areas in Nepal.
According to Central Water Commission, there will be huge flow and current in Bagmati, Budhi Gandak and Gandak rivers and their tributaries in the wake of heavy downpour in their catchment areas in Nepal.(PTI File Photo )
         

With heavy rains reported in Nepal and catchment areas of its rivers, threat of flood looms large in several districts of north Bihar following the rise of water level in Bagmati, Budhi Gandak and Gandak rivers.

Muzaffarpur’s district magistrate Alok Ranjan Ghosh said nearly 240 home guards had been deputed along the long stretch of embankments on these rivers as a precautionary measure. “Block authorities have been asked to keep a strict watch on the rising levels of these rivers passing through north Bihar and initiate necessary steps to mitigate miseries,” he said.

According to Central Water Commission, there will be huge flow and current in Bagmati, Budhi Gandak and Gandak rivers and their tributaries in the wake of heavy downpour in their catchment areas in Nepal.

Though there is no immediate threat of flood, authorities in Saharsa and Purnia districts are also on alert, given the devastation caused by floods in recent years, particularly in 2008 and 2017, when almost 1,000 people died.

“There is no flood-like situation. However, we have made all arrangements,” said Purnia district magistrate Pradeep Kumar Jha. He said 50 home guards had been deputed at embankments to keep a watch.

Saharsa district magistrate Shailza Sharma said, “Our preparations are complete and safety of embankments has been ensured.”

The incessant rains during the last 24 hours in seven districts of Seemanchal and Kosi regions have, however, eased drought fears and farmers have started paddy transplantation.

Amit Anand, a resident of Mahishi in Saharsa, said, “The rains have brought cheers to farmers in the region. “Till two days back, it was a drought-like.”

Similarly, Md Mazbool Haq, a farmer from Amour in Purnia, said, “The rains have revived our hopes for a bumper paddy crop.”

Anand, however, expressed fears that if rains continued for a week, their hopes may be dashed.

“The memory of 2008 floods is still fresh in our minds,” he said. Haq too voiced similar fears. In 2017, floods had affected 19 districts of Bihar, including all seven districts (Katihar, Purnia, Araria, Kishanganj and Saharsa, Supaul and Madhepura) of Seemanchal and Kosi, leaving 514 people dead. Seemanchal’s Araria district was the worst affected, accounting for 400 deaths alone.

In 2008, floods caused by Kosi breached at the embankment at Kusaha in Nepal, killing 500 people.

Seemanchal and Kosi are criss-crossed by over two dozen rivers and streams.major rivers bringing floods in the region are Kosi, Mahananda, Ganga, Kankai, Panar and Bakra.

While Mahananda, Kankai, Panar and Bakra cause devastations in eastern part of Seemanchal, Kosi has wreaked havoc in western parts of Seemanchal and almost all parts in Saharsa, Madhepura and Supaul. Ganga has wreaked havoc in Manihari, Amdabad and Barari blocks of Katihar.

In 2017, floods affected 19 districts of north Bihar, leaving 514 people dead, one of the highest ever tolls in the state due to floods. Araria district was the worst affected, accounting for 400 deaths alone.

Nearly a decade ago in 2008, floods caused by Kosi breached at the embankment at Kusaha in Nepal, killing 500 people in north Bihar.

Seemanchal and Kosi are criss-crossed by over two dozen rivers and streams, resulting in severe losses during floods. Major rivers bringing floods in the region are Kosi, Mahananda, Ganga, Kankai, Panar and Bakra.

First Published: Jul 09, 2019 14:58 IST

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