Patna: Flood waters are receding in all the major rivers of the state, including the Ganga, and the situation is improving, Bihar Disaster Management Minister Renu Kumari Kushwaha said on Friday.
However, the met office has warned of heavy rain in districts bordering Nepal over the next few days, causing the government to maintain a cautious vigil.
"Overall flood situation has improved in the state, as the water level of all the major rivers is showing a receding trend and will likely decrease further Saturday," Kushwaha said.
She said the government had asked concerned officials to intensify rescue and relief operations to help hundreds of thousands of flood victims.
Reports reaching here from Bhagalpur, Saran, Purnia and Munger districts said that hundreds of flood victims staged protests against inadequate relief. At Rupauli in Purnia, angry flood victims thrashed the circle officer and vandalized government property.
Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and CPI(ML) urged the government to launch massive food relief operations in the flood affected districts.
In a new development in flood-hit Begusarai district, leaders of political parties have been prevented from distributing relief material provided by the state government. "Use of banners, posters and flags of political parties by local leaders at different relief camps and shelters for flood victims has led to chaos, and is threatening to become a law and order problem," District Magistrate Manoj Kumar said.
Officials of the water resources department said the Ganga was still above the danger line at several places, threatening embankments.
"Though all embankments are safe so far, field officials, including engineers, have been asked to stay alert as receding water posed maximum danger to embankments," officials said.
Nearly six million people have been affected by floods in 20 districts of the state. At least 179 people have died in the floods in the state so far. Thousands have been left homeless. Officials said standing crops in five lakh hectares, worth crores of rupees, have been destroyed. Road communication at several places has snapped.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of heavy rains and a near cloud burst-like situation in districts bordering Nepal over the next few days, and authorities are worried that even more devastation might occur.
"In view of it (the met office warning), the government has sounded a full alert in the north Bihar districts and Ganga riparian districts and appealed to the people to move to safer places," an official of the water resources department said.
The state government has requested the National Disaster Management Authority to send three companies of NDRF for emergency rescue and relief operations.