Bihar faces drought, flood simultaneously

| | Patna

Bihar in a peculiar state is facing floods and drought simultaneously. At least 22 people have been killed while 23.71 lakh have been affected by the  floods till now.

While most of the rivers are overflowing, several districts are still facing rain deficit. Briefing about this, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and demanded adequate Central assistance to fight the double whammy.

The flood this year has not created much havoc in north Bihar, where rivers go in spate following heavy rains in Nepal's catchment areas and flooding of rivers is originating from the Himalayas.

But some other territories, which usually remain safe from flooding, have been flooded on the southern side of Ganga. The reason, officials allege, was the release of several lakhs of cusecs of water from Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh through Bansagar dam.

On the other hand many central Bihar districts are reel ing under rain deficit. Against an estimated 719.9 mm rainfall some regions reported only 615.6 mm rainfall, which was a deficit of 14 per cent, Nitish said, while submitting a memorandum to Modi.

This was not only this year but during the past ten years Bihar recorded rainfall deficit for eight years, which was less than 900 mm and it caused drought-like situation in several central Bihar districts.

Altogether 152 blocks spread over ten districts, mainly falling in northern sector, have 30 to 40 per cent rainfall deficit and worst affected districts are Munger, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Siwan, Muzaffarpur and Samastipur. It is going to hamper the kharif cultivation.  

The CM said Farraka barrage has caused siltation in the bed of Ganga and has affected its flow downstream. The heavy deposit of silt turned Ganga shallow. As a result when water is released in huge quantity from Bansagar dam it spills over to plain areas and flood new areas, the CM told Modi and urged the Centre to have a relook at the utility of Farakka barrage and demanded a silt management policy.

“The Centre should constitute a silt management policy and seek opinion of the experts on how to de-silt the river beds. I understand that Farakka dam cannot be dismantled but there can be a review on its utility and its ill-effects,” Nitish suggested.

The flooding of the Sone river following heavy discharge of water caused inundation of hundreds of villages in central Bihar districts of Bhojpur, Jehanabad and Patna and the Sone river released water in Ganga. The river overtopped the danger level at almost all banks in Patna causing panic among the citizens. Despite the assurance of the disaster management department, the people still living in fear.



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