The overall flood situation in Bihar showed signs of improvement on Wednesday, with the level of most rivers receding, according to the Central Water Commission officials. However, the death toll was raised to 113, with 12 more deaths being reported since Tuesday, officials said. In two separate boat mishaps, five people, including three children, drowned in Begusarai district.
Preliminary estimates suggest about 75,000 houses are completely or partially damaged due to the floodwater. “This is expected to increase five times when the full reports become available. The total loss is estimated at approximately Rs 1,844 crore,” the sources said.
The Bihar Government, on Tuesday, submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi seeking financial assistance of over Rs 3,200 crore for the damage caused to standing crops and private and public property.
Vital road communication is breached at several places with most roads in the flood-affected districts still under three to four feet of water. According to estimates 480 km of national highway are the worst hit, sources said. The cost of restoration of these highways was estimated at Rs 332.86 crore. Further, 128 embankments got eroded while there were 23 breaches. Old bundhs and important canal systems were damaged in the floods for which Rs 79.29 crore would be required, the sources added.
Four IAF helicopters are making 18 sorties daily, while six army boats and 3,428 country boats are being used in the relief operations, the sources said.