30 million people affected due to flood

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Patna, Sep 1: Over 30 million people have so far been affected in flood-hit north Bihar with more and more areas of Madhepura, Supoul and Araria districts coming under the sheets of water of the mighty Kosi.

Hundreds of Army, Navy and Air Force officers and jawans swung into action, armed with five helicopters and numerous mechanised boats, and already rescued more than three lakh people from far-flung areas, besides air-dropping several hundred tonnes of relief material and food packets for thousands of marooned people.

However, despite their all-out efforts, the rescue teams are yet to reach many more areas, primarily because the high current of the Kosi was hampering their progress.

As a result, thousands of villagers in these areas remained cut off from the rest of the world for nearly a fortnight now and were going without food or drinking water.

But unfortunately, taking advantage of the people's plight, miscreants have started looting and even capturing the empty houses, causing more misery to the people.

''An anarchy-like situation prevailed in these areas in the absence of police force or any other security agencies in the wake of the unprecedented situation,'' said a local trader, who is afraid of leaving his house for fear of it being captured.

As the waters of the Kosi submerged large parts of Madhepura, Supoul and Araria towns, lakhs of their inhabitants, responding to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's recent appeal over the local station of the AIR, deserted their homes and fled for safety.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has declared the floods as a 'national calamity' and allocated Rs 1,000 crore and 1.25 lakh tonnes of foodgrains for the flood victims.

The natural calamity in the state has posed a pertinent question in front of the authorities about the necessity of having proper infrastructural facilities to deal with such catastrophic situation on time.

Nine other north Bihar districts, which were also flooded by several other rain-fed rivers, including the Mahananda, Gandak, Kamala Balan, Burhi Gandak and the Ganges, were, meanwhile, limping back to normalcy as the water started receding from these districts following decrease in the rainfall.

Thousands of people, who had left their homes and took shelter in relief camps, have started returning to West Chamapran, Sitamarhi, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur districts.

UNI

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