Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has sought the help of Army and every possible assistance from the Centre as the flood situation in Kishanganj, Araria, Purnia and Katihar districts worsened on Sunday. Reports said water level in rivers Mahananda, Kosi, Kamla Balan, Burhi Gandak and Gandak — all originating in Nepal — was high.
The CM briefed PM Narendra Modi, Union home minister Rajnath Singh and defence minister Arun Jaitley about the grim flood scenario. “PM and home minister assured me all possible assistance,” Nitish said and added that he has also demanded 10 more NDRF teams for accelerating the rescue and relief operations.
The unprecedented 1.75 feet (or 525mm) rain in eastern Nepal together with 250mm rainfall in the border districts of Bihar in the last three days caused devastating flood in the four districts of Purnia division. The Bihar government has started evacuating marooned and trapped people to safer places.
The flood havoc worsened on Sunday as the 250mm thick layer of rainwater swept across Araria and Kishanganj districts bordering Nepal, and also across Purnia and Katihar districts. The high-speed floodwaters ran through Araria, Forbesganj, Kishanganj and several other towns as well.
Purnia was the worst affected as around 200 children were trapped at Kadambhari in Baisa block of the district. “An Army chopper, requisitioned from Danapur cantonment, has been pressed into service to evacuate the children,” said state chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh after the CM reviewed the flood scenario with ministers and top government officials.
Singh said no flood-related deaths had been reported so far. He said police would protect the property of displaced people and wireless sets had been provided to the authorities concerned to restore communications after the disruption of electric supply and telephone lines.
State water resources department (WRD) officials said floodwaters of Kankai river damaged its western embankment near Majkuri Jahanpur village in Kishangaj district. Also, Lalbakia river in Dacca block of East Champaran district partly damaged its marginal embankment and inundated several villages.
The chief secretary said four NDRF teams from the Centre would reach Chunapur (Purnia) airport from Bhubaneswar by Sunday night. “The remaining six teams would also arrive soon,” he added.
One to two feet water was flowing across the national highway (NH)-31 in Kishanganj district, disrupting vehicular traffic. Floodwaters overtopped the railway tracks on the Guwahati-Delhi section. Reports said floodwaters also damaged a bridge near Kharpokhra village in West Champaran district on Narkatiaganj and Gorakhpur railway section, forcing the diversion of routes of eight trains. The floodwaters entered Bagaha town besides the offices of its SP and DSP.