Lalu demands relief measures for flood-affected people

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New Delhi, Aug 26 (UNI) Expressing serious concern over the flood situation in Bihar following breach in Kosi Barage, Rashtriya Janata Dal president and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded immediate relief measures to save lakhs of people affected by the devasting floods.

Criticising the state government for not taking adequate relief measures, Mr Yadav, who led a high level delegation of RJD including leader of opposition in the Bihar Assembly Rabri Devi, urged the Prime Minister to deploy army for the relief operation.

He also demanded that a high level technical team should investigate the breach in the barage and find out the places where it happened and reasons thereof. It should recommend steps for immediate repair of the embankments so that in future such devastations could be avoided.

Moreover, the National Disaster Management Authority officials must immediately visit the flood affected areas and take steps for the relief and rehabilitation operations, he said.

Pointing out that the people of Bihar were expecting relief from the Central Government, the RJD President asked Prime Minister to himself visit the flood affected districts of the state.

The breach in the barage of Koshi has flooded Supoul, Araria, Madhepura, Saharsa, Katihar and Purnia districts due to which more than 20 lakh people have been become homeless, many people have died and crops were washed away. The breach has increased from initial 400 meters to 2.5 KM and also the river has changed its course due to which the devastating floods have affected the northern parts of the state.

Mr Yadav along with Minister of State for Water Resources Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav had visited the flood affected region on August 24 and found that the Kosi River has expanded to 13 KM, submerged 100 KM area and the water flow is going by 200 meters per day toward Bhimnagar Barage which is a matter of concern. This disaster has killed many people and people have been forced to take shelter at higher places.

The Kosi High Level Committee meant for protecting embankments and flood control had recommended the state government to take preventive steps, but the state government did not take any steps neither informed the Centre about the serious situation. The survey has revealed that most of the relief material were being washed away in flood water while lakhs of people in seven flood affected districts were demanding relief.

UNI AJ PD GC1900

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