Thousands of people in Darbhanga, West Champaran and Nalanda districts in Bihar have been affected by floods after rivers flowing through these districts breached their embankments.
Floods occurred in Darbhanga and West Champaran districts after breaches developed in the embankments of Kamla Balan and Gandak rivers respectively, while in Nalanda it was due to the overflowing of Panchane river.
Rescue operations have been launched and the Chief Secretary and other top officials made an aerial survey on Saturday to assess the situation.
“A clear picture of the situation would emerge only after the aerial survey is complete, and then only we would be able to say anything,” Disaster Management Department (DMD) Principal Secretary Vyasji said over phone.
DMD Special Secretary Anirudh Kumar said around 45,000 people have been affected by flood in Darbhanga district alone.
Terming the situation in Nalanda district as “grim”, the DMD official said Sarmera, Asthawan and Rahui blocks had been severely affected and thousands of people in danger were is being evacuated.
Kumar said rescue and relief work has begun in West Champaran district.
Four teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were coming from Kolkata to assist the eight other teams already present in Bihar, he said.
Water Resources Department minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhury told PTI, irresponsibility and laxity by executive engineers and other officials were suspected in the breaches in Darbhanga and West Champaran districts because they had been earlier directed to be there to protect the embankments.
“The Executive Engineer of our department and his subordinates in Darbhanga district are being suspended because of showing laxity in the matter. The breach happened despite our officials being there. We are conducting a probe in the breach in Gandak embankment and irresponsible officers will be suspended,” Chaudhary said.
The minister said there was around an eight metre-long breach in the embankment of Kamla Balan at Kumhraul near Ghanshyampur in Darbhanga district and flood water has affected over 20 villages in the area.
“We are trying to protect the ‘cut-ends’ of the embankment and will go for plugging the breach once the water level goes down,” he said.
“Two teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and two of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are conducting rescue and relief operations for the people trapped in the waters of Kamla Balan. They are being brought to relief camps,” the DMD Special Secretary said.
The minister said the breach in Gandak embankment near Ratwalpur at Bagaha in West Champaran district occurred on Saturday afternoon and the team of engineers and officials was still in the process of assessing the situation and spread of water.
“As far as Nalanda district is concerned, flood has taken place due to water overflowing of the Panchane river. There was heavy rainfall over the last few days and the area has no system of embankments,” Chaudhary said.
Chaudhary said Chief Engineers have been sent to monitor and control the breaches at both the places.
He also said Bihar Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, Disaster Management Department (DMD) Principal Secretary Vyasji and WRD Secretary Dipak Kumar Singh have gone on aerial survey to assess the flood situation.
“We are running 60 relief camps in the three flooded areas. People brought to them are being given food. Cash relief grant and food grains will also be provided to them,” the DMD Special Secretary said.