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Sleepless nights for villagers of diara areas

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Kumod Verma, TNN | Sep 28, 2011, 12.53AM IST

PATNA: Threatened with constant floods and erosion by the Ganga and Sone, six panchayats under diara areas of Danapur and Digha have become an unsafe place for their denizens.

Water has badly inundated lower areas of Pananpur, Kasimchak, Manas and Ganghara panchayats. People in the diara areas are panicky that water would slowly inundate their residential areas making it difficult for them to survive in the flood-prone diara areas.

According to Dinesh Kumar of Kasimchak, the Ganga is in full spate now. Fearing danger to their lives, most of them living in mud and dilapidated houses, have already shifted to safer places. A few of them are living under temporary arrangement on Baldeva High School campus at Danapur, he said.

About 20,000 to 30,000 people are living in 'diaras'. Unfortunately, their lives continue to be in peril as the government has not been able to stop erosion in this panchayat. Though boulder pitching was carried out in diara a few years back, work was not of good quality as it caved in allowing flood water to gush into houses, Kumar said, adding several pucca houses, including Sarbajit Kumar's house built this year, collapsed last month under the impact of strong current in water.

Lalpari Devi of Kasimchak told TOI, "The women in diara areas have been spending sleepless nights these days fearing erosion anytime. The condition is so miserable that we have to keep a close watch on the rising Ganga round-the-clock. Otherwise we could be swept away under the swirling current in the Ganga." She said that there is hardly enough boats in diara areas to rescue people in case of emergency during night.

Water has also entered the Pananpur panchayat. Unfortunately, erosion has hit hard this panchayat for the past several years. As a result, about 100 families of this panchayat have been displaced this time. The villagers of this panchayat said that the Ganga would gradually swallow the whole panchayat if the government fails to check erosion and floods menace.

More or less, the same is the situation in other panchayats in diara where the Ganga and Sone water has started entering the houses of villagers. About 14 villages are facing the dangers of flood water entering the houses of poor villagers. Poor health care and water crisis is likely to create problems for them.

According to a Danapur block official, the local administration has been keeping a close watch on the situation. Four to five boats would be made available soon in flood-affected areas in diaras, he said, adding the district administration is also in touch with the State Relief Committee to provide relief to flood marooned people.

Meanwhile, poor communication is said to be one of the major problems facing the diara people. While about 20 boats have been plying between Digha and Nakta diaras, boats for other panchayats are not sufficient, a villager of Kasimchak, Ram Narayan Rai, said.