Bihar faces Kosi flood threat

PM expresses concern and directs all possible assistance

August 04, 2014 02:11 am | Updated November 28, 2021 09:31 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Villagers move to relief camps at Supaul district, Bihar, on Sunday in the wake of a flood alert following a landslide in Nepal.

Villagers move to relief camps at Supaul district, Bihar, on Sunday in the wake of a flood alert following a landslide in Nepal.

The Centre on Sunday rushed in essential supplies, relief teams and other assistance to Bihar to deal with flooding in the Kosi command area and put on standby several aircraft for sending emergency personnel and supplies.

With fears of flooding looming large on the Kosi river banks from the possibility of sudden release of water from Bhote Kosi, a tributary of Kosi in Nepal, the Bihar government on Sunday sounded a “high alert” and ordered forcible evacuation of people from nine districts in the danger zone. So far 44,000 people have been evacuated in Supaul, Saharsa, Khagaria, Madhubani, Madhepura, Araria, Bhagalpur, Purnea and Darbhanga districts, according to official estimates.

The move follows discharge of approximately 1.25 lakh cusecs of water after the Nepalese Army conducted two low-intensity blasts to remove the landslide debris that has formed an “artificial reservoir” in Bhote Kosi. The reservoir has to dissipate for the flood threat to retreat, sources in the Water Resources Ministry told The Hindu here.

Bhote Kosi falls into Saptkosi which meets the Kosi in Bihar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is visiting Nepal, expressed concern and directed that all possible assistance be made available to the Bihar government. “The Centre’s action has been prompt and timely,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told journalists here on Sunday.

“The water discharge so far is not alarming, but it cannot be predicted when the flow might increase suddenly,” Union Home Ministry said here on Sunday.

Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth on Sunday chaired three emergency meetings of the National Crisis Management Committee with an assessment team comprising experts from various fields to assess the flood situation in Bihar.

Army, Air Force units sent

The government has put on alert troops of Sashastra Seema Bal even as paramilitary forces have moved its critical equipment and ammunition to interior areas from the frontier.

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