Bihar is undergoing through one of the worst floods ever! 16 days and still no relief for the people of flood-affected areas of Bihar. The flood situation has worsened with more release of water from Nepal and there is little done for more than millions affected. Scenes of people are hanging with the help of ropes are common, there is no availability of food and due to bad weather and heavy flow of water the rescue operation is very little and slow. As many as 1500+ villages are affected and as per latest reports over 67 are feared dead. Army has been called to help in the rescue operation. And worse, fear of epidemic looms over the affected areas.
A flood in Bihar is not new news. Every year we hear reports of Floods in Bihar, acres of agricultural land get washed away, crops are destroyed, and however more important many people loose their lives, homes and what we hear at the end if RELIEF Amount is sanctioned. This year the matter is very grim as the barrack, which was built in 1963 over Koshi River, broke and thus more Disaster. This barrack EXPIRY DATE was way back in 1988 and both Nepal and Indian Government who were responsible for maintenance of this dam as per 1954 Koshi River Agreement, kept delaying this serious matter.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar raised his hands in despair and asked for immediate Rs 1000 crore relief from the central government. Ram Vilas Paswan blamed the state government for not repairing the barrack. Laloo Prasad Yadav blamed the government for the poor relief measures. Some blamed Nepalese Government for releasing more water causing more problems. So all blame game started with very little help for the affected.
We look at a closer picture why year after year States like Bihar and others go through this national calamity and there is very less preparation to combat this situation.
Where is the disaster Management Team? We understand Flood is a natural calamity and we do not have control over that, but same areas are affected by flood years after years, why does not the rescue situation improve? Why did it take so many days for the rescue people to reach the affected areas? Reporters could reach, why not the relief operations team? Why are we spending crores of rupees on maintaining disaster management team when its nothing less than a DISASTER!
Where the team that is responsible to look after the repairs and maintenance of the dams, barracks and other properties? Had the reports for the repair of barrack over Kosi River sent before and action taken things would have been less bad. There are also reports leading news channel that Engineers and Contractors did visit the barrack. So what happened? Shouldn’t those contractors and engineers be questioned about their work commitments, which has caused flood water to enter the villages and thereby this huge loss!
There are many other dams and barracks, which need similar repairs and maintenance. Shouldn’t Government learn from this mistake and immediate arrange repairs for other dams?
What happened with river linking project? River Linking Project is about linking 14 Himalayan Rivers and 16 Peninsular Rivers so that there is better utilization of water, generation of electricity and of course reducing floods and droughts. Even though some environmentalist are against this scheme stating that this will destroy the ecological balance, however many agree that with proper planning and implementation we can successful link the river and get benefits from it.
Where are the political party workers now? Just before elections, you will find them in each and every corner of the village! Where are they now? Not sure if they are involved at all. Shouldn’t they take up this cause? Are the supporters and the party workers just for asking for votes during election and that’s the end of their work?
Without criticizing any more, we should plan for the next years, the Center, State Government and even the opposition Parties should work together to ensure the damage is minimum and at least there is no loss to human life. We need to identify the short term and long term measures for preventing such calamities and losses. The entire dam across the flood affected areas should be immediately accessed and repair work should be done. The Engineers and Contractors should have some benchmark for repair work so that they can withstand large loads.
Barracks should be built further to divert the excess water to other areas, there by limiting the flow of water. Underground water storage, rain water harvesting should be encouraged to re-use the excess water the time of need. The disaster team should work very closely with the weather department to prepare themselves well in advance for this sort of disaster and have relief operations handy.
While we sympathize with the affected people of Bihar, we are equally anguished with the bad policy of the government that leads to huge loss of national resources as well as human life. We hope that in the coming months, strong measures should be taken to avoid such disasters in Bihar and other states of India. We invite people to punch in more ideas to help reduce the calamity effects to the minimum.
Flood of Koshi in Madhepura – people are fleeing and might not return
Flood water in full force, destroys bridge, roads, everything…