August 3, 2009 11:47:44 am
More than four lakh people were reeling under the impact of floods in Bihar with Lakhandei river breaching its embankments at two places,worsening the situation in Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur districts on Monday. Lakhandei,swelled by swirling flood waters of turbulent Bagmati,breached the embankment in a stretch of over 200 metres near Tilak Tajpur in Sitamarhi district early on Monday,Tirhut Divisional Commissioner S M Raju said.
The water also destroyed its embankments at Baraitha Masjid and another place under Katra block in Muzaffarpur district late last evening. Flood waters submerged over 75 villages under Katra,Gaighat and Bandara blocks in the district,affecting a population of around three lakh,Raju said. Engineers and labourers were working day-and-night to plug the breach in stretches of 50 metres at two places on the embankment of Lakhandehi,he said.
The National Disaster Response Force personnel with boats,life jackets and relief were engaged in providing relief and succour to the affected people. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar,who undertook aerial survey of the flood-hit area in Sitamarhi,announced a compensation package for the displaced persons on the pattern of the one made available to flood-hit victims in Kosi belts in 2008.
A Sitamarhi report quoting official sources said the rescue teams of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB),Border Security Force (BSF) and NDRF continued the rescue operations on a war-footing. Nearly 15,000 people,rendered homeless due to the breach caused by the Bagmati,have so far taken shelter on the embankment of river for whom make-shift camps were being raised,report said,adding all those inundated by floods have been evacuated to safer places.
The embankment of river Bagmati was overcrowded with displaced persons and the state administration was arranging for their meals,it said. The chief minister,who had already ordered a joint inquiry by the Tirhut Divisional Commission and DIG (Muzaffarpur) into the causes leading to Bagmati breaking its embankment,said each affected family would be provided one quintal of foodgrains and Rs 2,000 as per the calamity relief fund provisions.
About one lakh people have been affected by the breach of Bagmati river. The authorities have so far distributed 3000 plastic sheets,150 quintals of beaten rice and jaggery among the flood-affected people in Sitamarhi district. The swollen Bagmati also inundated the national Highway Authority of India (NHAI) construction camp at Garha,bringing the construction work to a grind halt in Sitmarhi,official sources said.
According to the state flood control room in Patna,major rivers in north Bihar,including Kosi,Gandak,Burhi Gandak and Bagmati are in the spate following heavy rains in the catchment of these rivers. Water level of Bagmati is above the danger marks at some points along its course in north Bihar,while Gandak is also rising following discharge from Nepal,sources added.
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