Kishanganj district in north Bihar is reeling under severe flood affecting 1.65 lakh people across 285 villages. An alert has been sounded and a team each from the NDRF and SDRF are carrying out relief and rescue works. The district received 100 cm rain over the past week causing the worst flooding in the last 30 years.
“Three people have died due to rain and two others because of lightening. We have provided ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the victims,” said Pankaj Dixit, DM, Kishanganj.
The Mahananda river is in spate leading to massive flooding in the catchment areas. Dixit said 85 villages are severely hit. He said the situation continued to be grim as the water level is not receding from the danger mark.
Minhaj Sawar, an advocate, said the government’s response to this calamity should have been more proactive. “The NDRF team has not been able to reach the worst affected parts. It is yet to ascertain how many people are still trapped in rain water,” he said.
Waters have reached National Highway No 31 along the Bihar-West Bengal border. People have taken shelter in relief camps set up at schools and other government facilities. Many villages in North Dinajpur have also been affected. “Over a thousand families have been affected by the floods at Kanki panchayat alone” said Rajiv Jain, a member of the local civic body.
Mud houses and crops have been destroyed and affected people have moved their livestock to rain shelters. In the absence of any visible government machinery in flood affected areas, local people have come forward to provide food and other relief materials.
“We have arranged food packets and distributed them among victims,” said Md Naushad, a local businessman in Kanki. He said political parties are involved in extracting political mileage out of this tragedy.