Incessant rain triggers flood fear in 12 districts

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Abhay Singh | Sep 26, 2011, 12.48AM IST

PATNA: Given the incessant rain and sudden increase in the volume of water flowing in Sone river, a grim flood scenario is facing the people living in the 12 districts lying in the basins of the Sone and Ganga rivers. It has put the state headquarters of the water resources department (WRD) and the disaster management department (DMD) on toes, while CM Nitish Kumar reviewed the situation involving the officials of the two departments on Sunday.

The chief minister directed the DMs of the critically placed districts to maintain utmost vigil and also take emergency steps to organize rescue and relief operations in the affected parts and blocks of the districts, since the Sone would be carrying its water into the Ganga. The DMs have been asked to sound alert and also give warning to people to leave vulnerable areas, if required. Moreover, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have also been put on high alert.

Parts of 12 districts would be affected by the current round of flood. The districts include Rohtas, Bhojpur, Aurangabad, Arwal, Patna, Vaishali, Samastipur, Begusarai, Khagaria, Bhagalpur and Katihar.

According to WRD, Indrapuri barrage in Rohtas district released 9.58 lakh cusec of water from Sone on Sunday morning, which has been highest in the last 35 years. The previous highest mark was recorded in 1975, which stood at over 12 lakh cusec. The WRD headquarters, which ordered red alert on Saturday, repeated it, and asked the engineers and officials of the districts concerned to ensure that embankments, bunds and other structures remained safe. The DMD has also directed the respective DMs to pay utmost attention to providing shelter and relief to the marooned people.

In another significant development on the day, the WRD wrote an angry letter to its counterparts in Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Uttar Pradesh (UP) for not alerting Bihar in advance about the excess water that they released from the Bansagar and Rihand dams on Sone in the two states, respectively. The decision to shoot off angry letters to the two states was taken after WRD minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary and principal secretary Afzal Amanullah, along with officials of the Flood Control and Monitoring Cell, reviewed the situation in the morning.

The letters sent to the two states have pointed out that MP and UP WRDs released excess water without due alert to Bihar when there is unprecedented rain in the catchment areas of Sone in their areas, and also, most often volume of actual water released was found to be more than that mentioned in the record. Besides, they, in the lean season, released less water, but put on record higher volume of water, the letters sent by the Bihar WRD has mentioned, and has also pointed to the problems it created in Bihar.

Meanwhile, despite the late evening report that the water discharge in Sone was showing declining trend, and had come down to 8.01 lakh cusecs at Indrapuri barrage, the Ganga was flowing above the danger mark at Digha and Gandhi Ghat in Patna, and was expected to be the same at Hathidah, Munger, Bhagalpur and Kahalgaon in coming days.