Case against Bihar minister for Kosi floods

December 20th, 2008 - 4:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Dec 20 (IANS) A court in Bihar will Monday hear a case against state Water Resources Development Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav which holds him and some officials of his department responsible for a breach in an embankment of the Kosi which triggered devastating floods in the state this year.Saharsa district and sessions judge Hiralal Singh will hear the case filed against Yadav and some officials, a court official said Saturday.

A case against the minister and some officials was filed in the court of the chief judicial magistrate in Saharsa Aug 30 by Chatri Yadav, the leader of a farmers’ organisation. Chatri Yadav held the minister and some engineers responsible for the breach in the river embankment.

Once earlier, on Oct 24, the court had refused to hear the case, saying it was beyond its jurisdiction. But it changed its mind on appeal.

The worst floods in 50 years swept through Bihar this August, as the Kosi river changed its course following a breach in an embankment upstream in Nepal Aug 18. More than three million people were rendered homeless by the deluge.

The floods have claimed over 191 lives, according to official estimates. However, voluntary agencies fear the number could be in thousands once all bodies are recovered after the waters recede.

Officials said 993,992 people have been evacuated to safer places till date. About 370,000 people have taken shelter in over 300 relief camps in flood-affected areas.

The state agriculture department has estimated that standing crops in 175,000 hectares of farms have been destroyed in Madhepura, Supaul, Saharsa, Araria and Purnea districts.

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