The Bihar government has ordered forced evacuation of people living between the Kosi and its embankments, while the Centre has rushed in essential supplies, teams and other aid. Both have stressed the rising river has not yet reached an alarming level.
CM Jeetan Ram Manjhi, who did an aerial survey, said some residents have been arguing that the embankments are up to 1 km wide, and they are confident it will not be breached. However , 16,800 families have already been evacuated, said Sujit Singh Buleria, DIG (training), National Disaster Response Force (Delhi).
In New Delhi, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “PM Narendra Modi has given clear instructions for rendering all possible help to the Bihar government.” Eight NDRF teams have been deployed and seven will soon be sent. Bihar special secretary (disaster management) Anirudh Kumar said three state DRF teams too have been deployed.
Union cabinet secretary Ajit Seth has chaired three emergency meetings of the National Crisis Management Committee. A team is in Nepal to assess the potential impact of release from an artificial dam, collecting water at 20-27 lakh cusec. The barrage in Birpur can withstand up to 9 lakh cusec; superintending engineer Vishnukant Pathak said discharge has risen by 40,000 cusec in 24 hours. All 56 gates have been opened to prepare it for a sudden release.
Birla said her campaign this time is “very similar” to the last time.