Kosi floods: No change in flow of water in Bihar, Centre sends essential supplies

By Hemant Abhishek | Last Updated: Sunday, August 3, 2014 - 22:29

Zee Media Bureau/Hemant Abhishek

New Delhi: As the situation in Bihar worsens due to floods in the river Kosi Centre on Sunday rushed in essential supplies, relief teams and put on standby several aircrafts to deal with any emergency.

To avert any untoward situation, Bihar government in the meanwhile ordered forcible evacuation of people living in the space between the river and its embankments in nine districts of the state.

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Assuring Bihar Government of all possible assistance from the Centre, Cabinet Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said eight National Disaster Response Force teams have already been deployed and seven will soon be sent.

Water level in Kosi river is rising, Prasad said. Though it is not at an alarming rate, the situation remains unpredictable, he said.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given clear instruction for rendering all possible help to Bihar government. The Centre`s actions have been prompt and timely," he said at a press conference here.

Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth chaired three emergency meetings of National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) in this regard while an assessment team comprising experts from different fields is in Nepal to oversee the situation as an artificial dam created there on a Kosi tributary following a massive landslide has sparked fears of floods in Bihar.

Apprising scribes of the preparation, Disaster Management Department (DMD) Special Secretary Anirudh Kumar said, "We have invoked the provisions of the Disaster Management Act to initiate forcible evacuation of population living in the danger zone of Kosi. So far we have evacuated 16,800 people, but over 60,000 are still present between the river and its embankment."

"Our latest estimates show 4.25 lakh persons living around Kosi in the state could be affected if the river swells drastically. We are trying to move all of them," added Kumar.

Central Water Commission is doing a computer simulation exercise to assess the likely impact of sudden release of water.

"The situation is under control so far and there is no need to panic. We are prepared to face any eventuality. Four Air Force helicopters have been kept ready at Bihta airbase to launch evacuation operations," Kumar said.

"Another 17 helicopters belonging to various armed and paramilitary forces are on standby in the neighbouring states," Kumar added.

Provision for food grains has been made for the needy. 44,000 persons had been evacuated by the Bihar government and the state administration was urged to speed up the process, an official statement said, adding that 107 relief camps had been set up.

"Water discharge so far is not alarming. But it cannot be predicted when the flow might increase suddenly," it said.

Due to the landslide, about 20-27 lakh cusecs of water has got collected in the artificial dam and Nepalese authorities are making "controlled breaches" in it so that water can be released slowly and in less quantity, officials said.

One composite column (100 personnel) of army and air force had reached Supaul and one Saharsa in the state and three more columns mobilised from Sukna have gone to Katihar, the statement said, giving details of the operation mounted by the Centre.

"One AN-32 Aircraft has reached Delhi from Agra to carry persons and communication equipment to Purnia. One more is on standby at Agra. Two Mi-17 helicopters each are on standby at Gorakhpur, Bagdogra and Barrackpore. Two Chetak and four MI-17 choppers have been moved to Bihta near Patna," it said.

One aircraft carrying a medical team comprising 25 persons, including medical officers and specialists, and 20 civilian doctors of different specialities from Delhi hospitals has left, it said.

With PTI Inputs



First Published: Sunday, August 3, 2014 - 19:51

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