Lalu visits flood hit Bihar districts, assures helpAugust 31st, 2008 - 6:56 pm ICT by IANS
Patna, Aug 31 (IANS) Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Sunday assured all possible help to flood ravaged Bihar during his visit to Saharsa and Madhepura, two worst affected districts where hundreds of thousands are still trapped.“We will ensure all possible help to affected people and will do everything to rescue all of them,” Lalu said in Saharsa during his visit to take stock of the situation and meet affected people.
He said that the government of India will not leave the people in the lurch. “There will be no shortage of relief materials but first target is to evacuate them to safe place,” he said.
Lalu said that thousands of people were without food for days as they have no access to outside world and no relief reached them yet. Some others were drinking polluted water and eating raw or soaked grains to survive.
”The situation is beyond imagination for people living in big cities,” Lalu said in reference to how flood affected people were struggling for survival.
Lalu made it clear that it was no time for politics. “We will not do any politics now. Later we will raise several questions from the Nitish Kumar government,” he said.
He ordered railway officials to start relief camps at different railway stations.
He expressed his unhappiness when he was informed by Bihar chief secretary that there was no plan to set up relief camp on Patna railway station and other stations.
In Saharsa alone, over 100,000 people from flood affected districts have taken shelter at relief camps, temples, school, college buildings and other places that have not been submerged.
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.
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.
The floods have claimed 35 lives, including 20 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.