Flood situation worsens in east Uttar PradeshSeptember 25th, 2008 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS
Lucknow, Sep 25 (IANS) Barely had the flood waters begun to recede when fresh rains and release of water from the dams in the upper reaches of the Ghaghra river in Nepal has brought another round of misery for the already flood-ravaged and poverty-ridden population of eastern Uttar Pradesh .With seven more deaths over the past 24 hours, the overall toll on account of the fury of rain and floods rose to 1,129 Thursday, officials said.
The waters of the swirling Ghaghra on Thursday entered parts of the ancient Hindu temple town of Ayodhya and threatened to enter urban areas in the neighbouring Barabanki district, which had earlier also borne the worst brunt of the rising waters.
Army had already been called out in Barabanki and Gonda districts where a large number of villages were marooned for the past three days.
With rise in the water level, more villages were engulfed by the flood waters, compelling the administration to requisition further assistance from the army.
Nearly 50 motor-boats were flown Thursday by a special military aircraft to Lucknow from where these were rushed to Barabanki that was the worst hit on account of the renewed fury of the Ghaghra.
“The rise in the level of the Ghaghra river was unprecedented”, UP chief secretary Atul Kumar Gupta told IANS.
Release of water from a barrage in Himachal Pradesh had also led to sharp rise in the level of Yamuna river , inundating vast stretches of agricultural land in parts of Western UP, including Agra, where it crossed the danger mark Thursday afternoon.
“Nearly 425,000 hectares of crop worth at least Rs. 2 billion was completely lost on account of the floods and prolonged inundation of vast stretches across the rural expanse of the state”, state’s principal revenue secretary Balwinder Kumar told IANS.
While the loss to public property had already touched Rs. 7.4 billion , Tandon was of the view, “this figure was likely to shoot up to Rs. 10 billion by the time the situation returns to normal next month.”
Nearly 1000 of the 1129 dead had died under their crumbling homes, while the rest were washed away or drowned in the swirling waters.
The fury of the water has disrupted the lives of more than 2.6 million people living across 23 of the country’s most populous state’s 71 districts.