Mass migration in Bihar to escape fury of flooded Kosi

August 30th, 2008 - 4:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Aug 30 (IANS) Hundreds of thousands of people in flood-ravaged Bihar trudged or took a ride on any means of transport to escape the waters of the turbulent Kosi river as government agencies and the army evacuated more than 300,000 marooned people by Saturday.Additional Disaster Management Secretary Prataya Amrit confirmed that “mass migration” was taking place in the worst flood-hit districts of Madhepura, Supaul, Araria and Saharsa.

“Migration on a large scale is taking place in the flood-affected districts. People are moving to safe places in neighbouring districts and also outside the state,” Amrit told IANS.

He said that reports indicated that many people had migrated to Khagaria, Patna and Muzaffarpur districts as well as Saharsa town and neighbouring West Bengal.

All the special trains were running fully packed and railway stations were overcrowded, indicating that people were migrating on a mass scale, Amrit said.

Official sources in the three districts said that thousands of people, mostly poor landless labourers, were migrating by train to New Delhi, Mumbai and cities in southern India.

According to Amrit, more than 300,000 people had been evacuated by government agencies.

“over 100,000 people are being sheltered in 102 relief camps in the areas,” he said.

The flooded Kosi river has created panic and fear among people, said Amrit.

Ranjeev, who is working among the affected people, said: “It appears that people are rushing to board any vehicle - from cycles, rickshaws, carts - to escape to safer places. The top priority of people is to escape by leaving everything behind, including their homes, cattle and possessions at the mercy of god.”

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