Flood situation grim in Bihar, more areas affected

August 31st, 2008 - 1:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna/Saharsa, Aug 31 (IANS) The surging waters of the Kosi river continued to rise in Bihar, inundating fresh areas as hundreds of villages remained under water on the 14th day of the floods Sunday and millions were displaced and crying for rescue.The water level in the flooded areas rose by two to three feet in several places as the river inundated fresh areas in Saharsa, Supaul, Araria and Madhepura - the worst-hit districts late Saturday night.

An official of the state disaster management department said here Sunday that nearly 400,000 marooned people have been evacuated and about 150,000 people sheltered in 170 relief camps set up in the affected districts.

Meanwhile, angry villagers demanded that the worst flood-hit districts of Madhepura, Supaul, Araria and Saharsa be “handed over” to the Indian Army to save the hundreds of thousands still trapped.

“It is high time the state government handed over the districts to the army to save the lives of marooned people,” said Mundeshwar Yadav, a resident of Madhepura and now sheltered in a relief camp in Saharsa, about 225 km from here.

“People have lost faith in the state government and patience is running out,” said Bhola Sah, another flood victim at a relief camp.

On Sunday, over 200,000 cusecs water entered the state through the breached embankment of the Kosi river.

Officials admitted that the flood situation in Bihar continued to be grim with millions of displaced crying for rescue.

A case was filed against Water Resources Development Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav and some officials, holding them responsible for a breach in an embankment of the Kosi that triggered the devastating flood.

The case was filed in the court of the chief judicial magistrate in Saharsa district Saturday.

Farmer leader Chatri Yadav in his petition said that the minister and some engineers were responsible for the breach in the river embankment. He filed a case after the local police station refused to lodge a case against the minister.

The farmer leader has urged the court to send the minister to jail, official sources said. The court has fixed Tuesday for hearing the case.

Earlier, a Patna-based lawyer Shruti Singh filed a public suit in the Patna High Court seeking the court’s direction to plug the breach. The court is likely to hear the case in a day or two.

Opposition leaders have also blamed the minister for the breach that has caused the worst floods in the last 50 years.

The floods have claimed 35 lives, including 20 on Friday when a boat they were travelling in capsized in Madhepura.

According to official sources, over 2.5 million people have been affected by the floods in 1,598 villages spread over 15 districts.

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