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बिहार में बाढ़: क्या समाधान है (Flood crisis in Bihar: is there any solution)

बिहार में बाढ़: क्या समाधान है (Flood Crisis In Bihar: Is There Any Solution)

Whenever we talk about floods in Bihar, we should keep in mind that it is also considered to be the cause of widespread poverty and starvation, but it is not the only reason. During the drought or even in normal times, starvation-like conditions persist in the state. Actually, the biggest cause of hunger is corruption prevailing in the governance and administration of the state. For political leaders, contractors and middle-men, floods and drought have become a profitable industry. We have discussed all these aspects of the problem in the first chapter of the monograph.

About 1.71 crore people were affected by the floods. The floods ravaged the homes of 8.5 lakh people in North Bihar and killed 514 people. The crops were also damaged due to floods. As per the data, the Kharif crop in about 8 lakh acres was completely destroyed. The flood is said to be the origin of North Bihar. The geographical location of the state is such that it is not possible to save it from the flood crisis. Many rivers originating from the Himalayas and flowing through Nepal fall in this part of Bihar. This source of sweet water can also be a boon for the state. However, during the monsoon, these rivers become troublesome for the people. Koshi is one such river in north Bihar which is causing grief to the people due to its changing course.

 

Some experts believe that flooding is a natural phenomenon that cannot be stopped. It is better than humans learn to live with the flood. Nevertheless, under the core of industrial civilization, there has been an attempt by hydrocarbons to subdue rivers by modern technological know-how. Experience on the ground over the last 5-6 decades has demonstrated the futility of this effort. The golden promise to save the people of Bihar from the devastation caused by floods by breaking dams and embankments has proved to be a mere mirage.

 


Flood Havoc In Bihar

The second chapter focuses on the Koshi River. Its geography, the recent history of river behavior and the floods that have caused it, and the rupture of the eastern embankment at Kusha and the devastating catastrophe that occurred as a result of August 2008 are discussed in this chapter. Questions related to the actual factors behind the breach of the embankment and the government's responsibility for it have been raised in several quarters, but have not yet been answered. The people of the affected areas and several mass organizations blamed it on the government and local administration. If it is legitimate, the government and administration should take responsibility and punish the culprits. The Koshi floods of August 2008 rekindled the debate on the utility of dams and embankments in Bihar in the overall strategy of controlling floods and providing protection to the people in the affected areas. We have tried to delve deeper into these questions and discuss logic against dams and embankments and the politics behind it. This is the third chapter of the monograph.

 

Bihar Has A Relationship With Nepal, Not Only With Roti Beti, But Also With Water, River And Flood

The Holocaust following the Kusha violations, Koshi highlighted the inability of the government's administrative machinery to provide rescue and relief to the victims. It became clear that the successive governments of Bihar have not learned any lessons from past mistakes and have not been able to maintain the infrastructure for flood control. Political parties and leaders always care more for their vested interests than the affected population. Therefore, in the fourth chapter, we have raised the issue of floods and governance. The governance issue also has an international dimension. Therefore, in the fourth chapter, we have tried to delve into the issues of flood and flood management in the context of India-Nepal relations. It must be remembered that some experts believe that the flood of August 2008 could become such a big issue only due to the aspect of Nepal. This gave it an international dimension. We have tried to look at the relevance of old flood control policies in the context of new political conditions in Nepal.

 As we see, flooding in Bihar is a complex issue. In addition to inter-country relations in the region, there are several social and technical dimensions related to center-state relations as well as governance issues. Government. Negligence, as well as a web of corruption, has added to the complexity of the issue. We are searching in the dark in search of solutions. Mass organizations and pro-people technical experts from Bihar have discussed these complex issues and have come forward to raise various charters of demands based on people's perceptions and experiences. If these demands can be accepted and implemented by the state government, then people can get some relief from the flood crisis. These demands include immediate as well as medium and long term steps. Long-term steps are essentially related to our vision regarding floods and nature. This is a matter of serious and lengthy debate, but we cannot avoid joining this discourse. In the fifth chapter, we have considered the issues of this debate.

However, it is not enough that we mention some preventive measures and present a different view of our own on the subject. When strong vested interests are active in favor of obsolete policies, governments do not accept new suggestions, simply because they seem more realistic and logical. For this, there will be pressure on governments and this can be done only when people can mobilize, raise their voice, and take accountability from state agencies. The fact of the matter is that we need mass mobilization to start people-oriented politics and governments are forced to listen to the wisdom of the people. But the question is, who will start this politics, or what is the point of starting it? In the sixth chapter, issues related to this question are discussed.

 This monograph has been written based on the experiences of several mass organizations, their pamphlets, their demands, published in various reputed journals in the country, write-ups and newspaper commentaries, and interviews with experts. The source material is listed at the end of the monograph.

Flood connection with North Bihar is old. The geographical location of the region is such that it cannot be protected from flooding. Many rivers originating in the Himalayas descend into this region of Bihar via Nepal. This source of sweet water can also be a boon, but these rivers are also causing trouble in the rain. Koshi is one such river, which has suffered a lot due to its spasticity.

 Experts say that flooding is a natural phenomenon, which cannot be stopped. It is in the human interest to learn to live according to the flood. But when the confidence of conquering nature with technology-filled mankind greatly, methods were used to prevent floods by destroying rivers. However, the experience of the last five-six decades has broken this trust. The hope of preventing flooding through dams and embankments has proved unfounded.

 When it comes to floods in the context of Bihar, it should be kept in mind that this is a major cause of starvation in this poor state, but it is only one reason. Drought and normal conditions have also led to starvation conditions. The most important reason for this is corruption. For politicians, contractors and middlemen, corruption has made floods and droughts a profitable industry. All these aspects are discussed in the first chapter of this booklet. The second chapter focuses on Koshi. On the special design of the river, its historical condition and the terrible flood of August 2008. The floods came from the breaking of the embankment at Kusha in Nepal, but there have been no questions as to why the embankment was broken and who is responsible for it. Common people and mass organizations directly blame the government and the administration for this. Obviously, millions of people were affected, it is their responsibility as well. This is the subject of the second chapter.

 















Flood Havoc In Bihar: Dam Broken Somewhere And Road Washed Away

The August 2008 flood in Koshi further deepened the question of the use of embankments and dams. In the third chapter, we have tried to look at the arguments in favor and opposition of embankments and what is the politics behind them. The Koshi floods exposed government negligence. If the entire situation is kept in mind then it becomes clear that the government is not ready to learn from the mistakes of the past, at the same time it does not take action on flood control measures, which takes care of political parties and leaders Huh. More than the public for their vested interests. In the fourth chapter, we have seen the flood and its relationship with governance. The matter related to government is the international dimension of this issue. Therefore, in this chapter, the aspect of India and Nepal related to the management of Koshi floods and floods is also considered. In fact, many experts believe that the August 2008 floods became such a big issue because the aspect of Nepal was related to it. This gave the flood an international dimension. We have tried to understand where the old flood control policies stand today and what their future amidst the new circumstances of Nepal is.

 The flood situation in Bihar is complex. There are many basic technical questions related to this, there is also an international aspect of this, ignoring the governments and corruption mechanism has made the situation more serious. So what is the solution? Public organizations and public opinion in Bihar have given much consideration to this. Based on his experiences, he has made several demands. These demands suggest measures to provide relief to the people of the state from floods. These include some quick steps that must be taken immediately, some medium-term steps, and many long term steps. Long term steps are related to perspective. How to see floods and nature is a matter of serious debate. But this debate should now be held. This aspect of the issue is considered in the fifth chapter.

 

But it is not just a matter of discussing some measures or presenting a new point of view. When there are huge vested interests behind old policies and measures, the government will not be ready to accept them, although the suggestions are good, realistic and logical. Governments will be forced to do this. This can only happen when the public is aware and on the way to pressurize their demands. In fact, there is a need for a large gathering, which should start such public politics, before which governments have to bow down. But the question is, who will do these politics and where does it begin? Perhaps the most important aspect related to this issue is discussed in the sixth chapter.

This booklet has been prepared on the basis of experiences of many mass organizations, their pamphlets, their demands, the articles of experts published in the famous magazines of the country, news reports and observations and interactions with the experts. The list of references used in it is at the end of the booklet.

 

Bihar And Floods: Flood Is A Major Problem Of Bihar

One reason for Bihar's poverty is the devastation caused by floods every year. A large area of   North Bihar is submerged in water every year, but every year this flood does not make that big news. Many experts say that the Koshi floods became a big news in 2008 as one aspect of Nepal was connected to it, it became an international issue, and the second Lok Sabha election was close as political parties were likely to join it. To get a political issue.

  

Farakka Barrage Is Not Opened, The Floods Of Ganga In 12 Districts Including Patna Will Lead To Worse Conditions

By the way, the problem of Bihar is not just 'Koshi'. If Bihar is to get relief, it will be achieved only when a complete strategy is made to deal with the floods in North Bihar. The region of North Bihar lies between the central-eastern part of the Indo-Nepal border, the Ghaghara River in the west and the Mahananda River in the east. This region is the catchment area of many large rivers. These rivers are - Ghaghara, Budhi Gandak, Bagmati, and Rivers of Adhwara group, Kamla Balan, Koshi and Mahananda. The area is spread over about 56 lakh hectares and is part of a vast galactic area. The rivers of the region later merge into the Ganges. Most of these rivers originate from the The Himalayas and pass through Nepal to North Bihar. These rivers change frequently in Bihar, especially during the rainy season. His management remains a major challenge even today.

 

During the rainy season, the water of these rivers starts increasing when there is heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of the Himalayan plains and mountainous regions. If there is a windstorm in the Bay of Bengal, the rainfall that affects it also affects the water level of these rivers. Increasing water creates a flood situation and reports of breakage of embankments begin.

 The result is a large area of drowning. This disaster makes millions of people homeless, crops are destroyed and large numbers of animals are killed. According to an estimate, these rivers of North Bihar carry 43 million tonnes of water to the Ganges every year, with 43 million tons of silt. 47% of the water from the Ganges to Farakka comes from these rivers. 59 percent of the silt that flows the Ganges to Farakka comes from rivers. It is worth noting here that these rivers are a valuable source of fresh water.

 The need to think critically about these rivers is being felt with determination and vigor when UN studies about water sources around the world deepen. According to this United Nations study, there will be a huge shortage of fresh water for drinking and industrial use in the coming years. This problem is becoming increasingly serious due to the deteriorating environment and increasing population.

 According to an estimate, only 0.014 percent of the total water present on Earth comes from freshwater sources. The rivers of North Bihar are capable of providing an estimated 4 trillion 12 billion cubic meters of water. Therefore, it is necessary to formulate appropriate policies for the conservation and proper utilization of water resources, so as to protect the interests of present and future generations. (Facts of MB Varma's article)

 However, these rivers become havoc during the rainy season. North Bihar is a flood-prone area every year. Significantly, India is among the countries most affected by floods in the world. Floods account for one-fifth of deaths in India. An area of   about 40 million hectares, i.e. one-eighth of India's total land, where there is a possibility of flooding.

 The areas most affected by floods in the world are the Gangetic Plains. The flood writes stories of grief and destruction for the residents of these areas almost every year. According to the available data, over 27 trillion rupees have been spent on flood control in India in the last five decades, but during this time flood damage has increased by 40 times every year. During the same period every year, flood-affected areas grew by 1.5 percent. (Geography and U. July – August 2008)

 According to experts, flooding is a natural phenomenon, which has an important contribution to preserving the natural nature of the river. At a particular interval, there should be more water in the river, we must assume. Flooding is actually part of the process of the river flowing and sustaining. Flooding becomes dangerous as people start living in areas where river water reaches especially in weather and conditions. Flood control measures are adopted to protect these people. But it is certain that flood control measures are a human intervention in nature.

It is also a fact that in the last three decades, the highest floods in India have occurred in the plains of North Bihar. This means that flood control measures either did not work or failed after being effective for a short time. In such a situation, it should be accepted based on the experience of North Bihar and in fact, it is almost impossible to build a flood-free or complete control system for the entire country. Whatever programs should be put in place to deal with floods, it should be kept in mind that they should not try to instill a false belief in the safety of the people.

Experts suggest that these things should be kept in mind while preparing flood control programs: 1- The flood control program should be according to local conditions, 2 - the benefits should be more than they should be, and 3 - adverse to flood control stay away from the adverse effects of flood control means that these programs are. For example, changes in the course of the river, waterlogging in an area and increase in areas affected by flooding.

 


Flood, Drought And Starvation

After all, the previous governments and political parties of Bihar had not learned any lesson before this. That is why Bihar remains synonymous with poverty and plight. Natural disasters, especially floods have played a major role in this. By some estimates, a third of the state's population goes out of state and earn a living, never trying to understand the pain of this migration. Uprooting from their land, breaking ties with loved ones, being cut off from their culture and environment and living elsewhere - is the story of millions of people in Bihar. After all, who is responsible for this? Can political parties deny that the problems caused by floods in Bihar are the result of their criminal misrule and mismanagement?

There is a need to seriously discuss this issue and this aspect related to a natural disaster. Active social and political activists have been trying to get the attention of governments in Bihar for decades, but for the ruling and opposition parties this question is nothing more than a matter of blame. No matter who is in power, this does not change the situation. After the Koshi floods, when these activists gathered in Patna to discuss floods and starvation, the situation in Bihar became a bit clearer. Here we are presenting the important issues presented in that conversation-

The state of hunger in North Bihar is associated with floods and drought in South Bihar, but everyone is silent on this question in Bihar. If we consider the discussions held in the Vidhan Sabha in the last five years, it becomes clear that there has neither been any discussion on the question of hunger nor any question has been raised, hunger is not an issue in politics, especially politics Election in

 In 2008, a newspaper about the villages, Vanthu, Gorai and Parwari in Vaishali district published the news that two Musahar brothers died of hunger. When the survey was carried out by the 'Promise No Break' campaign, people felt that the situation there was so bad that one, all the people could be victims of hunger.

 People were forced to eat potato root and its kernels there. When those people were boiling the potato root, it smelled so much that it was difficult to stand in front of it.

The reality is that one cause of starvation is flooding, but in the event of a flood, there is also starvation, meaning there are other causes, but political parties are insensitive to the issue.

Therefore, social workers need to bring the problem of hunger to the center of today's politics. The state of starvation caused by floods should also be brought into politics. If the problem of starvation cannot be solved in parliamentary politics, how should this problem be resolved?

 Starvation occurs in both flood and drought conditions. The biggest reason for this is actually corruption, if there is a flood in an area, there is help from the government and other sources, but it does not reach the needy. They get money to stop the water of the rivers, but the officials do not do the necessary work from it, they eat themselves. Until this happens, there will be starvation.

Engineers who came to inspect the embankment of Bagmati River had told that embankment could not be made on the Bagmati River. But an embankment was built on Bagmati. First, the local leaders gave contracts to their people, then took a commission. That is, whenever a dam or embankment is planned, corruption starts. Leaders take a commission from BDO and Collector, even they took a commission in Indira Awas Yojana.

A middleman has been created between government officials and leaders. Flood is an industry for all of them. To keep this industry running, they always face some problems. The breakup of Baghmati’s dam led to pits at various places and spread far and wide, but no team came to investigate it. With no initiative in such cases, people leave farming and move to other states, thus floods and starvation are related to each other.

Whether or not the embankment is built is also being discussed. Social activists expressed the opinion that the livelihood of about 99 percent of flood experts in Bihar and the country is running with this issue, more than the government, they are responsible for the floods. Ask the mass organizations and agitators working on the issue of a flood, if you study it, you will find that the same experts are responsible for the mistakes made by the government. These people never connected the general public to the debate on the question of floods. The more technical debate, the more the common man will be cut off from it, the real social workers will be cut off from it.

This opinion of the social worker points to several aspects related to the flood and its management. This emerges from the fact that flood is not only a problem, but it is also the cause of a big problem like starvation. It emerges from the second point that flooding is not just a natural disaster, but a political question. Till this question will not be brought to the center of mainstream and politics, people-oriented policies of flood management will not be formed. The third point is that the debate related to floods is not only technical but also questions related to honorable and common people. The methods of flood management could not achieve their objective, in which public opinion was not taken before adoption. Therefore, it has become extremely important to adopt a holistic approach to flood control and management, in which the government, scientific and technical people as well as the common people are concerned.

 


Koshi River Flood Background

Koshi which occupies a large area of   Nepal and India. That is, it is a river that flows in two countries, its catchment area is spread over 95,646 square kilometers. The area passes through Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga to the Ganges River. But before joining the Ganges, Koshi comprises several major rivers of Bihar, such as Kamla, Bagmati, Budhi Gandak and Bhuti Balan. Before landing in Chatra, the Koshi River has traveled 48 kilometers in the Terai of Nepal. It then divides into 15 streams in North Bihar. In the last two hundred years, this river has slid more than 150 kilometers from east to west in north Bihar.

Seven major rivers meet in Koshi in Nepal, hence in Nepal, it is called Sapta Koshi. From its source, Koshi covers a distance of 729 km until it meets the Ganges. Of this, 260 km is in India.

The average flow of water in Koshi is 1,564 cubic meters per second. At the time of the flood, this flow increases 18-fold. According to available data, the worst floods occurred in Koshi in August 1968, when the water flow was 25,878 cubic meters per second. Earlier, there was another severe flood in August 1954, when it saw 24,200 cubic meters per second water flow.

According to engineer and flood expert Dinesh Kumar Mishra, “Maps of the various streams of Koshi have been available since the early 18th century. The flow of this river flowing in 15 different streams from one stream to another was due to the silt coming into it. In the 1950s, our politicians and engineers dared to flow such a river into a stream. The river whose water and silt flowed in 15 streams in one stream, was reduced to one stream.

 The result of this stupidity was that all the water and all the silt started flowing in just one stream of the river flowing in many streams. The river, which was already dawn, became stronger than before after being tied between embankments, as now only one stream of it rose above the remaining streams and the accompanying ground. Such a river could not be stable. "

Every year in Koshi, water increases during the rainy season. During the monsoon season from June to September, the catchment area of   Koshi receives strong rainfall, although the situation is not the same every year. Cloudbursts are common in the Koshi Falls region, during which rains up to 500 mm may occur in a day. According to experts, this trend showing in the catchment area is one of the reasons for Koshi's unique and dangerous behavior.

As stated above, one reason for Koshi's constant havoc is the silt coming into his water. Large-scale debris goes into rivers during cloudbursts. Incidents of land disturbance are common in the mountain. It also brings water and silt into the river. All these incidents happen suddenly and there is not much time to warn people who are under the possibility of flooding.

In the last sixty years, the pace of melting of glaciers in the Himalayas has increased. Due to this, there is a sudden boom in the lakes formed by melting ice. This causes the water to reach the rivers at a rapid pace and also the debris created by the breaking of the lakes. When the floods of these rivers reach the bottom, water and silt create havoc in the fields and settlements. Studies have shown that Koshi brings 120 million cubic meters of silt every year, of which 95 percent comes during monsoon days. (Ajay Dixit, EPW, 7 February 2009)

 


East Koshi Embankment Breaks Over Kusha

In August 2008, Koshi's havoc spread over a large area of   Bihar. Koshi was once called the mourning of Bihar. When this river flowed in Purnia district, there was a popular saying that 'eat poison or eat mature, go to Purnia if you want to die'. It was the nature of this river that it kept changing its course. When its attitude would change, it was difficult to guess. So people were afraid of it.

But this is when it was believed that it is difficult to avoid the wrath of nature. Later embankments were built along the river and arrangements were made to protect the people from floods. But in 2008, Koshi's vicious appearance was seen once again. And with this, the arrangements made to stop the flood once again came under question. Man has failed to try to tie the river, it became clear once again. On August 18, 2008, a crack in the Kusha embankment in Nepal caused flooding. This affected 8 districts of Bihar. These districts are - Saharsa, Supaul, Madhepura, Purnia, Araria, Katihar, Khagaria and Navagachia (Police District). According to government figures, 527 people lost their lives and more than 3.5 million people were victims of the devastation. However, many mass organizations working in the Koshi region consider the death toll as three and a half thousand to 20 thousand. The floods rendered millions of people homeless. The livelihood of lakhs. Crops standing on one lakh six hectares of land were destroyed. The damage was so great that the central government had to declare the Koshi flood as a national disaster. The Bihar government estimated a loss of Rs 9,000 crore during the floods. On 16 September 2008, the task force sent by the central government spoke of a loss of Rs 25,000 crore. The Bihar government demanded Rs 14,500 crore for the reconstruction. Many organizations say that the loss is above one lakh crore rupees, while the central government has given only one thousand crore rupees.

 After August 18, the water continued to circulate for 24 days. There were reports that today this area is submerged, so today this area is surrounded by floods. Koshi's water hit the railway tracks and roads, causing them to break and hit the area of   the region.

Thousands of animals died due to floods. The pond was washed away, causing the fish to die. This affected the employment of millions of people. What will people do in this situation? About 1.2 million people migrated from Bihar. The government was paralyzed amid the destruction. For two weeks, the government had no place in the flood-affected areas. The government later claimed that it sheltered six and a half million people in relief camps, but the question is what happened to the rest of the people when the flood disaster killed 3 lakh people. Why was he not aware of this? The opposition certainly saw its political advantage in the floods and the then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav operated 160 free trains. So that the flood victims can go out of that area. Many had taken shelter in coaches of trains for several weeks. When the flood was spreading, many people saved their lives by hanging from tree twigs. For many days, people stayed in that state hungry or thirsty, or they continued to save people's lives.

In those days of tribulation, if the people had any support, it was themselves or their society. The only way to help each other was to escape many of them who did not return until a year later. He used to take the news of his home and village by phone, but after learning that it is difficult to live life after returning, he gave up his intention to return.

Flood damage figures, which do not include the long-term effects of flooding, are included in the figure. Many experts have said that due to floods the fields will remain barren for a long time, due to which people will have to face the plight. Flooded sand and silt fry the fields.

 

Flood Problem And Governance Challenges

 If we look at recent experiences, it can be said that governments in India are not aware of any such new initiative. Changes in the environment can change the behavior of the river or measures such as embankments can be deceived, these things are not seen in government circles.

Therefore, no precaution is taken beforehand. When Koshi was flooded in August 2008, areas, where the floodwaters had not reached for a long time, were submerged. Due to the flash floods, the people there were left in a can. He had neither a means of defense nor any preparedness to deal with such a situation. Those millions took it as destiny and took satisfaction.

But she was careless in the hospital. This made it clear that governments that argued for science and modern inventions to build large dams and embankments made no preparations to make efficient arrangements to protect flood victims and victims. In these cases, they leave everything to nature. Molested by nature, she leaves you helpless to face her anger. This has been happening in North Bihar for decades. There was a lot of noise due to the flood of Koshi, but there is no hope that there will be any change in these conditions.

It is also clear from the dialogue between social workers and victims that political parties are directly responsible for the plight of the people. Common people suffer as a result of their vested interests and wrong decisions. Now the direct question from the actors of both the state and central governments is that after the flood, political leaders have worn the mask of naivety and argued that what could the administration do when the river changed its course? But he did not understand the need to explain how the direction of the river changed even when an embankment was made to control the stream of the river.

The truth is that almost every year government money comes in the name of maintenance of embankments, increasing their height, strengthening them and building new embankments, which are leveraged by contractors and brokers associated with political parties. These contractors and brokers are election-time leaders. Therefore, the leader, whatever it is, does not dare to hurt the interests of the contractor and the brokers. Perhaps this is why leaders ignore every question raised on the policy adopted so far to prevent floods.

Even the comments of the National Commission in this regard were ignored. The Commission stated that no systematic study of the usefulness of embankments has been done. This has been a chronic complaint of social workers. They believe that the effectiveness of flood prevention measures was never surveyed according to the socio-economic conditions of their society, nor was there any attempt to connect the common people with this process. Whereas in 2004, the Prime Minister's Task Force on Flood Management and Erosion Control recommended encouraging community participation in the maintenance of embankments.

 

Under the influence of vested interests and the policies that have been separated from the people, the result is that despite the side effects of the embankments, no question has been asked at the government level even today. The fact is that the ideas about embankments that existed at the government level in the 1950s are still prevalent today. It was then believed that floods could be prevented through embankments and high dams. It was a period of complete confidence in development policy based on modern technology and large constructions.

But by the 1980s, experts began to question this policy. In the context of North Bihar, he pointed out that to prevent flooding there, dams on rivers originating from the Himalayas were considered as a measure, under which large reservoirs were thought to prevent water overflow. . But experts said that due to the geological and seismic conditions of that area, these dams can pose a major risk. Then the construction of a huge reservoir is not possible due to the narrow valley further limiting the long-term and economic benefits of silt reservoirs in rivers.

All these things had no effect on the thinking of governments. In 2007, the Bihar government sought special assistance of more than Rs 17 thousand crore from the Central Government for flood control scheme. It was said that this amount would be spent on removing silt from embankments and rivers. On the other hand, the National Democratic Alliance government at the center came up with a plan to solve floods and droughts by connecting various rivers. Many rivers of Bihar were also to be included in this plan.

Solve The Problem

The issue is how to save the people of North Bihar from suffering from floods every year. Many demands have arisen in this regard, which can now be presented in concrete form.

Immediate Solution

It is clear that if no lessons have been learned from the Kusha incident, then it is also difficult to think of protecting people from disasters from floods. The first requirement is that the embankments that have been constructed should be properly maintained and constantly monitored if there is a crack and immediate measures are not taken to fill it, who will be responsible for it. Decisions should be made in advance. Immediate issues related to rescue and relief in disaster situations. Based on experiences in the Koshi region, social workers made some special demands. These demands are still relevant and given the current situation, it can be said that they will remain so in the coming years. According to him, the Central Government enacted the National Disaster Relief Act. It should clarify the provisions for declaring a situation as a national disaster. What becomes the responsibility of the Center and the states after a national disaster is declared, should also be cleared. That is, it should be clear that in case of a critical situation, it would be considered a national disaster and what steps would be taken for relief in that situation.

 Bihar Government Should Fix Its Relief Rules.

  • There is a need to identify who is responsible for the August 2008 floods. For this, many mass organizations have since been demanding a CBI inquiry, in fact, this demand is an important demand of the mass movement in that area.

It is also very important to construct or not to build embankments to advance the existing embankments. But the most important thing immediately is that the current embankment is not guaranteed to break. Special arrangements for repair and monitoring should be made for this. In addition, it should be clearly decided who will be responsible if a breach occurs in an embankment. Legislation should be enacted to punish those responsible for breaking the embankment.

 - Embankment repair work should be completed by April every year. Experience has shown that corruption dominates the repair work. The work is done only on paper and the construction is said to have been swept away by floods.

An independent commission should be set up to assess the damage caused by floods.

The government should pay full compensation to the victims of eight districts who suffered the loss of life, household goods, animal husbandry, employment, industry, trade, gardens, ponds and ponds, etc. due to the flood of August 2008.

 

- The roads drain, rail tracks, schools, hospitals, post offices, playgrounds, pastures, community buildings etc. damaged by the floods of August 2008 should be rebuilt as soon as possible.

 - Preparations should be made to deal with future floods. To prevent floodwaters, reservoirs should be built, preparations are being made to construct relief centers on the dunes, and special arrangements should be made for boats to take the stranded people to relief camps.

 - There should be at least 20 boats for every 1000 population in the affected villages, 100 kg of food grains per family and a plan should be prepared in advance during displacement, where proper water arrangements are made for the people. And the toilets should be built.

 - The people of the affected villages should be given continuous employment under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme so that people do not migrate and those who have migrated can return.

Special relief work should be continued till alternative means of livelihood are available to the workers.

 - Farming and animal husbandry have been badly affected due to sand filling in the fields. The government should make concrete arrangements to remove sand.

Special and new loans should be arranged for these areas.

Based on the experiences of the last five decades, the advantages and disadvantages of embankments should be thoroughly assessed and the affected families due to embankments should be compensated for the loss of movable and real estate.

In addition, public organizations have also raised some other demands, for example,

Disaster warnings should be given in flood-affected villages.

 

-A Disaster Management Authority should be established to take immediate action on mistakes in flood management and ensure the distribution of relief material as per the laid down rules. The responsibility of ensuring transparency in the budget and expenses of government agencies on disaster management should also be entrusted to this authority. Apart from these demands related to relief and rescue, mass organizations have also made some suggestions to reduce the flood power of the Koshi River.

 

BIHAR FLOOD SINCE 1979

 


According to reports, 8570 people died due to various reasons related to the flood. 25,776 cattle and animals were killed. 7.70 Crore hectares of land were submerged in floodwaters. Crops were damaged on 3.74 crore hectares of land. 7969 crore has been lost due to crop failure. 1.15 Crore houses have been damaged. The loss of 4151 crores has been caused by the breakdown of public buildings.

The most dangerous flood in Bihar so far

 

2016: 12 districts badly hit by floods. More than 2.3 million people affected. More than 250 people died.

 2013: 200 people killed in July floods. The impact of the flood was in 20 districts. About 5 million people were affected.

 2011: The impact of the flood was in 25 districts. The lives of 71.43 lakh people were affected. 249 people lost their lives.

 2008: There were 18 districts in the grip of floods. 5 million people were affected. 258 people died. The crop of 34 crores was spoiled.

 200 districts: 22 districts were affected by the floods. 1287 people lost their lives. 24 million people were affected. The United Nations called it the worst flood in the history of Bihar.

 2004: More than 2 crore people from 9,346 villages in 20 districts were affected. 885 people died. 522 crore crops were damaged.

 2002: The impact of the flood was in 25 districts. 489 people died. Crops worth more than 511 crores were destroyed. 8,318 villages were submerged.

 2000: Floods affected 33 districts. More than 12 thousand villages were hit by floods. 336 people lost their lives. 83 crore crops were destroyed.

 1987: The worst impact of the flood was seen in 1987. 24518 villages in 30 districts were affected by the 1987 floods. 1399 people died. 678 crores worth of crops were destroyed.


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