Flood threat looms large over Bihar as several rivers, including the Ganga, Bagmati, Burhi Gandak, Ghaghara and Kosi, are flowing above their respective danger levels from Patna to Khagaria over the past 48 hours.
The Ganga, for instance, was flowing 41cm above the corresponding danger level at the Gandhi Ghat and 18cm above the danger level at Hathidah in Patna district on Wednesday morning. The Punpun was also flowing 85cm above the danger level at Shripalpur in Patna district.
According to the daily flood bulletin issued by the Central Water Commission, the situation may aggravate further in 48 hours. “The water level in the Ganga at Gandhi Ghat is expected to rise further by 35cm by 8am on Thursday and by 24cm at Hathidah,” Wednesday’s bulletin stated.
The Flood Management Information System (FMIS) of the state government has also issued a forecast of light to moderate rain in different river basins of the state over the next two to three days.
A swollen Kosi was flowing above the corresponding danger level at all three flood gauges in Supaul, Khagaria and Katihar districts on Wednesday. It was flowing 35cm above the danger level at Basua in Supaul, 98cm above danger level at Baltara in Khagaria and 18cm above the danger level at Kursela in Katihar.
Rajesh Kumar, engineer-in-chief of the flood control division in the state water resources department, attributed the rise in water level to heavy rainfall in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, among other places, in north India over the last few days.
In Patna, several neighbourhoods, settled north of the 25km long flood protection wall, face the immediate risk of flooding due to rise in the water level of the Ganga. Riverine areas, including Bind Toli near Digha, are already surrounded with floodwaters for the past 48 hours.
Incessant rain in catchment areas, besides the Ganga and the Burhi Gandak surging beyond the danger mark during the last few days, are posing inundation threat to a number of villages in the riverine areas across Khagaria district.
According to official sources, floodwaters of the rising Ganga and the Burhi Gandak have entered a number of houses in villages of Khagaria and Gogri blocks.
“People of these marooned villages are accustomed to living this way. The government and the district administration think flood is a normal phenomenon as it occurs every year,” said Pappu Paswan, a resident of Nanhku Mandal Tola in Rahimpur panchayat.
Meanwhile, Gogri circle officer (CO) Kumar Ravindra Nath and his Khagaria counterpart Dhirbalak Rai, who visited their respective flood-affected areas, said the situation was under control.