Rain-related incidents have claimed over 120 lives in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in the past four days. Incessant rainfall has brought normal life in Bihar to a halt and Uttar Pradesh has reported 93 deaths till now.
The Bihar State Disaster Management Authority said on Monday that 29 people have died in the state due to rainfall. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said his administration is making all possible efforts to help people.
“There has been heavy rainfall in some areas since yesterday and water in Ganga river is rising constantly. But there are proper arrangements and administration is at the spot and making all the efforts to help people,” Kumar was quoted as saying by ANI on Sunday.
“Such a situation is not in any one’s hand, it’s a natural thing. Arrangements are being done to provide drinking water to all. Also, arrangements are being made for community kitchens for the flood-affected people,” he had added.
The IMD retained the red alert it has issued, with a forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall, in Bihar on Monday, according to The Times of India.
The centre has provided two helicopters to Bihar for relief and rescue operations in flood-affected areas.
The district administration has ordered closure of all schools till October 1 as a preventive measure, according to PTI. The administration has also warned of strict punishment to those who violated the direction and “put the lives of teachers and students at risk”.
Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi was rescued by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on Monday after he was stranded at his Patna residence.
The floods in Bihar have led to some videos and photographs going viral online. A video of a rickshaw puller has been doing the rounds on social media. The video, Scroll pointed out, is from Patna and shows the rickshaw driver in tears as he is unable to pull his rickshaw forward after being stuck in chest-deep water.
Several other visuals, including what is said to be a flooded Raymond shop, have also been shared on Twitter. HuffPost India has not been able to independently verify the authenticity of the images. While a Twitter user said the image was from the Raymond’s showroom in Hathwa market in Patna, HuffPost India could not contact the outlet to confirm this.
Why Twitter users are angry
Several Twitter users have lashed out at the media for not focusing on the flood situation in Bihar. While there were a few news reports until Sunday, the severity of the situation only managed to make the front page of major newspapers on Monday.
The Bihar government has also been criticised for the lack of a proper drainage and water management system in the state.
Writing for The Telegraph in 2015, Sankarshan Thakur and Piyush Kumar Tripathi had pointed out how Patna is “overburdened by its populace” and “recklessly urbanised”. Patna is bound by four interlinked rivers and a flood expert quoted in the report said that “a flood in any of the encircling rivers can flood all others and there aren’t enough discharge points”.
“And the drainage is so poor and clogged, even a little downpour can deluge vast parts of the city. There is too much water all around, and we do not have a drainage plan,” Dinesh Mishra, an IIT-trained civil engineer and flood expert was quoted as saying in The Telegraph.
In Uttar Pradesh, at least 93 people have died since Thursday. According to a state government report, cited by PTI, 14 people lost their lives on Sunday and 25 on Saturday while 54 had died in the two days before that.
Authorities also had to shift 900 prisoners, another PTI report added, after flood waters entered the barracks of the district jail located near river Ganga.
Of the 900 prisoners, 500 are being shifted to Azamgarh Jail and remaining to Ambedkarnagar, Additional District Magistrate, Ballia, Ram Asrey was quoted as saying in the report.
The worst-affected places in Uttar Pradesh are Ballia, Varanasi, Jaunpur districts, NDTV reported. The weather office has warned of heavy rain in both eastern and western parts of Uttar Pradesh over the next 24 hours, the report added.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday directed that no government official will be granted leave in view of the incessant rain.
“Immediate provisions should be made to pump out water from the flooded areas, and relief material should be provided to people affected by flood. In view of the incessant rain, no official will be granted leave,” a government statement quoted Adityanath as saying, reported PTI.
(With PTI inputs)