Bihar plans to seal Kosi breach by Nov 30

September 25th, 2008 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Sep 25 (IANS) The Bihar government has decided to seal the breach in the Kosi river that triggered one of the worst floods in the state, official sources said Thursday.”The state government has prepared an extensive action plan for completing Kosi breach closure work by Nov 30 following clearance by the central government.” an official of the Water Resources Department said.

Recent flooding in the state was caused due to a breach in Kosi embankment in Kusaha in Nepal that changed the course of the river. The floods have affected over three million people in Bihar and claimed 50 lives.

Officials admitted a month-long delay in the work to plug the breach, which was reportedly caused due to differences between the state and central governments.

“The delay in plugging the breach is giving sleepless nights to government agencies involved in rescue and relief work because they can begin rehabilitation and reconstruction work only after the breach is plugged,” an official of the state disaster management department said.

The state government last week wrote to the central government for a decision on plugging the breach at the earliest and completion of the work before March 2009.

More than three million people in over 1,000 village in Saharsa, Madhepura, Supaul, Arartia and Purnea districts were rendered homeless and over one million cattle affected by the floods caused by the change in course of the Kosi river.

About 989,000 people have been evacuated to safer places and over 350,000 people have taken shelter in over 300 relief camps in flood-affected areas, officials said.

About 50,000 people, who refused to move out despite repeated appeals by the government, were still marooned in Madhepura and Supaul, among the worst hit districts.

The state agriculture department has estimated that standing crops in 175,000 hectares of land have been destroyed.

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