Incessant rains in the last 72 hours in neighbouring Nepal, coupled with heavy rains in the last 24 hours in the Seemanchal area, have caused floods in Kishanganj, Purnea, Araria and Katihar districts of Bihar. An Information and Public Relations Department (IPRD) release quoted Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as saying that due to rains in the catchment areas of Nepal and the Seemanchal districts, rivers like Mahananda and Kankai had swelled, causing floods in the four districts.
It added that the most affected district was Kishanganj, where the flood waters had entered the town.
“I have talked to the prime minister, Union home minister and defence minister over phone, apprised them of the flood situation in these districts and requested them to help the state deal with the situation. They have assured me of all possible help,” the release quoted Kumar as saying.
The chief minister also demanded an additional deployment of 10 companies of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in the state, besides deployment of the Indian Air Force’s helicopters to carry out relief-and-rescue operations, it added. Kumar, who is keeping a close tab on the situation in the flood-hit districts, held a high-level meeting today to assess the scenario, besides reviewing the state government’s preparedness and arrangements for the relief-and-rescue operations.
After taking stock of the ground situation from Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and Disaster Management Department’s Principal Secretary Pratyaya Amrit, he directed the officials to carry out the relief-and-rescue operations on a war footing.
The chief minister also asked the officials to seek the Army’s help, the release said. Kumar said the NDRF and SDRF teams, which were stationed in the state, had been dispatched to the affected areas to carry out the relief-and-rescue operations. The chief minister talked to the people’s representatives of the flood-hit districts and took feedback from them. He also asked the ministers in-charge of the districts to camp in their respective areas.
Kumar issued necessary directions to officials to shift the flood-affected people to safer places. Briefing reporters, Chief Secretary Singh said the flood waters had entered seven relief camps, which were set up in Kishanganj district, and steps were being to taken to shift those who had taken shelter in these camps to safer places.
Principal secretaries and secretaries had rushed to their respective districts in helicopters, he added. Amrit said parts of East and West Champaran and Sitamarhi districts were also affected due to heavy rains, but could not give any figure as regards how many people were affected.
The flood waters had also entered the Narkatiaganj area of West Champaran district, said officials. As per the East Central Rail (ECR) chief public relations officer (CPRO), eight trains had been cancelled due to waterlogging at the Narkatiaganj yard.