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Bihar Flood Toll Reaches 36, Situation Deteriorates

Flood situation today worsened in Bihar where two more people lost their lives taking the death toll to 36, while flood waters entered fresh areas, pushing up the number of affected districts to 17.

"One death each has been reported from Patna and Gopalganj district today taking the flood toll to 20. However, if deaths caused by house and riverbank collapse, electrocution, snakebites or drowning are taken into account, the toll will go up to 36," Disaster Management Department (DMD) Emergency Control Room in-charge C B Pandey said.

Over 18.2 lakh people in the state are now reeling under floods.

Pandey also said flood waters from Mahananda river entered parts of Purnia district today taking up the number of affected districts to 17.

Nalanda, Darbhanga, Saharsa, Madhepura, Sheikhpura, Patna, Supaul, West Champaran, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Araria, Gopalganj, Khagaria, Bhagalpur and Purnia are the affected districts now. Of these, Nalanda, Sheikhpura and Darbhanga are worst hit.

The DMD is running 146 relief camps to provide food and shelter to around 33,200 rescued and displaced persons. The number of people staying at the camps is decreasing as many have left to go to their relatives' places.

Seeing the trend of heavy rainfall in the Nepal catchment areas of several rivers flowing through Bihar, the Central Flood Control Room of the state Water Resources Department has issued a communique to all its chief engineers to keep their subordinates on alert and conduct intensive patrolling on the river embankments to negate any chance of breach.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi did an aerial survey of Nalanda district and held a meeting with Ministers, MLAs and senior officials at International Convention Centre in Rajgir over the flood situation.

The Chief Minister said the state government will not allow any scarcity of funds to hamper relief operations and directed the officials to prepare an estimate of all flood-related losses within 15 days.

Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi also asked Rural Works Department (RWD) and Road Construction Department (RCD) to start constructing and repairing the damaged roads on war footing so that communication is restored in the affected areas.

"There is also a need to ensure safe drinking water and cleanliness in the flood-hit districts so that diseases do not spread due to unhygienic conditions in the affected areas. Medical teams should be sent to villages and the health centres located there should be activated. We must ensure fodder for animals as well," Manjhi told ministers and officials.

Water Resources Department (WRD) Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary informed the Chief Minister that work is being done to reconstruct the damaged embankments of Kamla Balan, Gandak and Bagmati rivers in Darbhanga, West Champaran, Gopalganj and Sitamarhi districts. He also asked the officials to provide anti-flood sluice gates in the embankments.

Several public representatives also met Manjhi and gave their suggestions for effectively checking floods in their areas.

The floods across the state have affected over two lakh hectares of agricultural land, including one lakh hectares of cropped land. The estimated crop damage is worth Rs 60 crore.

DMD Principal Secretary Vyasji said Rs 1.41 crore has already been allotted for flood relief operations and work is going on in the affected blocks. He also said adequate money for distributing food grains and cash grant among the affected people will be made available soon.

Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi also asked Rural Works Department (RWD) and Road Construction Department (RCD) to start constructing and repairing the damaged roads on war footing so that communication is restored in the affected areas.

"There is also a need to ensure safe drinking water and cleanliness in the flood-hit districts so that diseases do not spread due to unhygienic conditions in the affected areas. Medical teams should be sent to villages and the health centres located there should be activated. We must ensure fodder for animals as well," Manjhi told ministers and officials.

Water Resources Department (WRD) Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary informed the Chief Minister that work is being done to reconstruct the damaged embankments of Kamla Balan, Gandak and Bagmati rivers in Darbhanga, West Champaran, Gopalganj and Sitamarhi districts. He also asked the officials to provide anti-flood sluice gates in the embankments.

Several public representatives also met Manjhi and gave their suggestions for effectively checking floods in their areas.

The floods across the state have affected over two lakh hectares of agricultural land, including one lakh hectares of cropped land. The estimated crop damage is worth Rs 60 crore.

DMD Principal Secretary Vyasji said Rs 1.41 crore has already been allotted for flood relief operations and work is going on in the affected blocks. He also said adequate money for distributing food grains and cash grant among the affected people will be made available soon.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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