Flood situation remains grim in Assam, Bihar, North Bengal; death toll goes up, thousands affected
Floods claimed more lives in Assam, Bihar and West Bengal on Wednesday.
New Delhi: Flood situation remained grim and claimed more lives in Assam, Bihar and West Bengal, where over a crore people are still affected.
Tracks at different places in these continued to be submerged under flood water, affecting rail connectivity.
As a result, all passenger train services connecting destinations in north Bengal and Assam from the metropolis remained suspended for the fourth consecutive day.
At least 32 people have died and over 14 lakh people affected due to floods in six districts of north Bengal partly due to overflowing rivers of Bhutan, Bihar and Jharkhand.
"Since July 21, 32 people have died in the six districts in north Bengal. While 30 people drowned, two died due to snakebite. Besides, 104 domestic animals have died so far in the flood," a senior official in West Bengal's disaster management department said today.
Overflowing rivers entering West Bengal from Bhutan and states like Bihar and Jharkhand is the main reason for the flood in six north Bengal districts. The deluge is not just due to rains in the area, he said.
The highest number of 3,64,043 people hit by the calamity are in Malda, followed by 3,53,328 in Alipurduar, 1,78,546 in Jalpaiguri, 1,30,634 persons in Cooch Behar, 1,25,435 in South Dinajpur and 1,20,000 in North Dinajpur districts, the official said.
Altogether 622 relief camps have been opened with government aid, while nearly 800 such camps were opened by different NGOs, he said.
"At present, around 1,38,134 people have taken shelter at different relief camps in the affected districts," the officer said, adding nearly three lakh hectre agricultural land was submerged.
The toll in the flood rose to 72 in Bihar, where 73.44 lakh people have been hit by inundation in 14 districts triggered by incessant rains in Nepal and some districts in the northern part of the state.
Special secretary in the state disaster management department, Anirudh Kumar said 73.44 lakh people are in the grip of flood which has engulfed 110 blocks and 1,151 panchayats in 14 districts of the state, the latest being Gopalganj, which was submerged today.
Araria accounted for 20 flood deaths, followed by Sitamarhi (11), West Champaran (9), Kisanganj (8), Madhubani and Purnea (5 each), Madhepura and Darbhanga (4 each), East Champaran (3), Sheohar (2) and Supual (1), said Kumar.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was scheduled to conduct an aerial survey of Bettiah, Valmikinagar areas with Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi during the day could not do so due to bad weather.
He, however, monitored the flood situation from Patna through interactions with senior officials, as per PTI.
Rail service was hit in Sitamarhi-Raxaul section of Samastipur Division due to flooding of tracks between Chaura Dano-Adapur stations and Kundwa Chainpur-Bairagnia stations.
The Sugauli-Raxaul section of the saw flood waters submerging Sugauli and Raxaul yards and inundate area between Raxaul-Ramgarhwa stations.
In Darbhanga-Sitamarhi section of Samastipur division the flood water is flowing over rail tracks between Janakpur Road-Bajpatti stations and Kamtaul-Jogiara stations.
The flood situation in Assam too continued to deteriorate with 11 more lives lost today. Around 33.45 lakh people in 24 districts of the state remained affected due to the flood.
With the deaths reported today, the toll in the third wave of floods has gone up to 39 in the north-eastern state. The floods have claimed 123 lives so far this year in Assam, including eight in Guwahati.
According to a report by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), three persons died in Bongaigaon, two each in Dhubri, Nalbari and Morigaon in flood-related incidents.
The ASDMA, in its report, said 33.45 lakh people in 24 districts were affected due to the floods.
Dhubri, with 8.5 lakh affected people was the worst hit, followed by Morigaon where 5.1 lakh people were affected, said the ASDMA.
As many as 2,970 villages were under water and 1.43 lakh hectares of crop area were damaged, the report said.
The ASDMA said the authorities were running 304 relief camps and distribution centres in 21 districts, where 1,38,648 people had taken shelter.
Over 4,600 people have been evacuated to safer places by State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel.
The ASDMA said heavy erosion was witnessed in Chirang and Biswanath districts.
The Brahmaputra river was flowing above the danger mark at Guwahati, Nimatighat in Jorhat, Tezpur in Sonitpur, Goalpara and Dhubri towns, officials said.
Other rivers such as the Dhansiri at Numaligarh in Golaghat, Jia Bharali at NT Road Crossing in Sonitpur, Kopili at Dharamtul in Nagaon, Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta, Kushiyara at Karimganj town were flowing above the danger mark, they added.
Most of the forest areas in the Kaziranga National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Lawkhua Wildlife Sanctuary were under the flood waters, they said.
All trains to NE suspended till August 20:
Meanwhile, all trains to the Northeast from rest of the country have been cancelled till August 20 due to damages on tracks due to floods in Assam, West Bengal and Bihar, officials said today.
"The Railway Board has directed all zonal railways to cancel trains travelling from various parts of the country beyond Malda town and Katihar till August 20, 2017," Northeast Frontier Railway chief public relations officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma said in a statement.
Rail connectivity in flood-hit portions of Bihar and West Bengal continues to be affected with marginal improvement in situation today.
"However, virtually no accessibility to most of the damaged sites has affected the restoration work. Telecommunication network in the entire section is badly affected also," he said.
The situation has been aggravated after a railway bridge between Maniyan and Kuretha was damaged by the floods this morning disrupting train communication between Katihar and Kumedpur.
"This has further hampered mobilisation of materials to sites," the CPRO said, adding that for the benefit of the stranded passengers, Railways has arranged special trains between Guwahati to Dalkhola and back.
"Water is still above danger level in sections like Dalkhola-Telta-Sudhani Barsoi-Raiganj and Balurghat- Buniyadpur. Restoration work is going on. Boulder, ballast and other materials are being arranged from various locations for being used in restoration work," Sharma said.
(With PTI inputs)