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Bihar Floods, an additional severe threat for Biharis


Bihar Floods, an additional severe threat for Biharis

Komal Akanksha

Just when the country was going through its bad phase in terms of health sector due to worldwide pandemic Coronavirus, border issues and political issues the situation has got worsen by floods in eastern and north-eastern states particularly in Bihar and Assam. The flood havoc wreak has left trail of destruction across the two states leaving people in agony of despair. According to researches a worst flood would hit these areas once in a decade but now these areas have become flood prone by the perennial rivers which is a great effect of deforestation.
As the satellite images shown by the European Space Agency the relative stretches for the rivers Kosi also known as “sorrow of Bihar”, Ganga, Gandak, Burhi Gandak, Mahananda and Bagmati, which are roaring up with their rising level and at the same time Brahmaputra river in Assam is on the path of destruction too. The floods in Bihar has hit 19 districts namely- Kishanganj, Araria, Purnia, Katihar, Eastern Champaran, Western Champaran, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, Sitamdhi, Shivar, Samastipur, Gopalganj, Saran, Siwan, Supaul, Madhepura, Saharsa and Khagaria. Over 3 lakh people in Bihar have been hit amid pandemic. Bihar recently is also suffering with increasing rates of COVID-19 patients and the scarcity of facilities in hospitals.
The government is currently running seven relief camps and 27 community kitchens in the flood-affected areas where over 2,000 people have taken shelter. However, at most places like in East Champaran, Gopalganj, Sitamarhi and Darbhanga, people have taken shelter either on embankments or on the national highways. In East Champaran district, the administration has provided tarpaulin and chura-gur (flattened rice and jaggery) to those living on the embankments between Piprakothi and Gopalganj. A power generator too has been arranged for them. But at other places, people could be seen living in rows of black tarpaulin tents along with family members, and their cattle tied alongside on the highways and embankments. In Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Darbhanga and Gopalganj districts too, marooned people could be seen leaving for safer places in country and make-shift boats. “Flood is an annual ritual for us but this time spread of Coronavirus has doubled our problem”, sexagenarian Udit Rai of Sheohar said.
As many as 16 teams of the 9th battalion of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in 11 flood-affected districts. Several teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) too are deployed and they are working in coordination with the respective district administrations.“This time, our officials and personnel are also following dos and don’ts of COVID-19 and requesting people to wear mask while maintaining safe distance from each other…the NDRF personnel are ready for operations in flood-affected areas”, Vijay Sinha, Commandant, 9th battalion of the NDRF, said.
Bihar is also the field of elections this year and it is the best opportunity for all the political parties to prove themselves in bringing the light of development in this state which is suffering population hikes due to return of migrants, health care facility and infrastructure lacks. People of the state now more than ever need to form a responsible and accountable government.

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