Black Diwali for thousands in Bihar flood relief camps

October 27th, 2008 - 3:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Oct 27 (IANS) It will be a black Diwali Tuesday for the flood victims in Bihar as around 90,000 people are still living in relief camps and over 3,000 are missing, more than two months after the worst floods in 50 years swept through the state, killing 191 people and rendering millions homeless. “Yes, about 90,000 flood victims are still living in different relief camps,” Pratyay Amrit, additional commissioner of the disaster management department, told IANS here Monday.

He said that no special arrangements had been made to provide sweets to the flood-hit on Diwali.

“Before Eid and Durga Puja, local officials had been directed to arrange traditional dishes on the festival day,” he said.

Officials in the worst-hit Madhepura, Supaul and Saharsa districts said that currently only one-fourth of the flood victims were left in the relief camps.

“People who have lost everything, including their mud-thatched houses, are forced to live at relief camps till they are rehabilitated,” an official said.

As many as 3,611 people are still missing and hopes of tracing them are receding with each passing day.

The missing people are from the Madhepura, Supaul, Saharsa, Araria and Purnia districts.

“Most of the missing people reports are from Madhepura’s Kumarkhand, Murliganj and Supaul’s Chhattpur areas,” the official said.

The Kosi River breached its embankment in upstream Nepal in August, flooding hundreds of villages in Bihar. More than three million people in over 1,000 villages were rendered homeless and over one million cattle affected by the floods.

About 989,000 people were evacuated to safer places and nearly 400,000 took shelter in over 300 relief camps in flood-affected areas, according to officials.

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