Government in fix how to deal with adamant marooned villagers

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Patna, Sep 14 (UNI) The state administration was in a fix over how to deal with thousands of flood victims stranded in inundated villages of north Bihar, who have refused to come out despite repeated requests by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

With the receding of water in marooned villages of north Bihar, the communication by boats had become difficult sending the state administration in tizzy over how to rush the relief materials to them.

Having exhausted almost all its avenues, the government has directed the Army to get the details (name and addresses) of all those who are still reluctant to move out.

Army officers are finding it hard how to prepare such lists as the officials of the district administration are not ready to visit the far flung villages which take four to five hours time to reach.

The administration can depute statisticians to collect the figures they want, said a visibly upset Army officer in Madhepura.

"The problem is that the villagers do not want to move out.

Despite a lot of convincing they are not ready to leave their home, hearth or cattle", sources said adding even Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's appeal though All India Radio was not heeded.

With the decrease in water level, movement of army boats is a problem with each passing day, said an Army official adding "we are just providing ferry service as the rescue operation was now almost over." "Army boats are still been used if they have to be dragged midstream many a time'', said an Army officer adding,'' While going to villages, we carry food grains, some fooder and medicines but our boats return totally empty.

"The officials of the local administration should visit the inundated villages and try to persuade those who are still reluctant to come out", the army officer said adding ''there is no satisfaction to return with empty boats''.

Meanwhile, Additional Secretary of the state disaster mangement department Pratyay Amrit said altogether 2039 boats including 482 motor boats had been pressed into service to carry out the relief and rescue operation in flood ravaged areas of north Bihar. A total number of 855 jawans of Nationl Disaster Rapid Force(NDRF) had been deployed in the flooded areas to rescue the marooned people, he added.

"Altogether 317 relief camps and 241 medical camps are working round the clock to provide succour to more than 3.09 lakhs flood victims in five worst hit districts--Madhepura, Araria, Supaul, Saharsa, Purnia and Supaul'', Mr Amrit added.

Meanwhile, the CII dispatched 30 trucks of relief materials including edibles, utensils and other essentials for flood victims.

The fleet of 30 trucks laden with relief materials would be distributed among the flood victims taking shelter at relief camps in Supaul and Saharsa.

Chairman of the Eastern zone's CII Sandipan Chakarvorty said they constituted special task force for relief.

CII was contributing drinking water, storage tanks, serving and cooking utensils, bed sheets, sarees, dhotis, gamchas, milk powder, baby food, biscuits, buckets, mugs and children dresses'', he said.

Chairman of Bihar unit of CII Satyajit Singh said they collected more than Rs one crore for relief work.

SBI also donated Rs two crore to Chief Minister Flood Relief Fund.

Bihar DGP D N Gautam donated a cheque of Rs 1.25 crore forrelief work.


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