Bihar government lying about floods toll, says ex-chief minister

November 18th, 2008 - 7:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Nov 18 (IANS) Former chief minister Jagannath Mishra Tuesday accused the Bihar government of suppressing the toll in the recent floods, and said over 3,600 people were killed in the worst calamity the state has seen in 50 years.According to official data, only 275 people were killed in the August floods caused by breaches in the Kosi river embankment. The floods affected more than three million people in the state.

“Not less than 3,620 people lost their lives in the worst floods. There is no truth in the government’s figure of 275,” Mishra told IANS, after he visited five worst affected districts of Madhepura, Supaul, Saharsa, Purnia and Araria in north Bihar.

The former chief minister, whose son Nitish Mishra is minister for disaster management in the Nitish Kumar-led government, said 1,921 people died in Madhepura alone.

“Our casualty figures are based on field study (conducted) after I visited village after village in the flood affected areas,” said Mishra, who heads the NGO Manavadhikar Sanrakshan Prathisthan.

Mishra said despite tall claims by the state government, till date over 200,000 flood survivors are yet to get any relief.

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