After the heat wave, the floods
Many districts of northern Bihar are facing a serious flood threat because of rising rivers. People are fleeing, but victims complain of official apathy
After the heat wave, Bihar is facing a serious flood threat, news reports say.
Due to continuous rains and floods in Nepal, almost 10 districts of the state are now under threat. According to local newspaper Prabhat Khabar, many villages in the areas of Kosi and North Bihar have been cut off. With water levels rising continuously, rivers like the Gandak, Bagmati, Kamala, Kosi are beginning to breach their banks.
Roads and rail traffic have been hit due to the continuous rains and the rising rivers in these areas. Reports from Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi and Raxaul say that the running of trains has been hit due to the collapse of the Muzaffarpur-Sugalai rail line. There are also reports of damage to dams and roads in many areas including Bihar's Jhansarpur, Motihari and Araria.
According to local journalists, government aid and relief arrangements are inadequate. In areas where thousands of families have fled, disaster management teams have not reached nor is there any arrangement for providing shelter, treatment and food.
According to Ritu Jaiswal, head of Singhwahini Panchayat of Sitamarhi district, the villagers are helping each other. She wrote on her Facebook page, 'All night we were on the phone with the villagers and officials. In the morning, it turned out that NDRF and SDRF [disaster response outfits] did not reach ...” People helped save the trapped villagers on the trees at around 6 o'clock in the morning.
Asiaville tried to hear from the government on the issue by contacting the phone number given on Bihar State Disaster Management website, but despite repeated attempts, could not talk to anyone.
Local people complain that most of the helpline numbers issued by state disaster management authority are either not working or there is no one to handle the queries.
[Autotranslated from the original Hindi]