Home >Politics >Policy >Kosi flood threat: Bihar govt orders forcible evacuation

Patna: With the danger of flood looming large in the Kosi belt along the Bihar-Nepal border, the state government on Sunday ordered forcible evacuation of people living in the space between the river and its embankments in nine districts.

The move follows the discharge of 125,000 cusecs of water after the Nepalese army conducted two low-intensity blasts to partially remove the landslide debris blocking the Bhote Kosi, one of the tributaries of the Kosi. The release of water has raised the water level in the river in Bihar.

“We have invoked the provisions of the Disaster Management Act to initiate forcible evacuation of population living in the danger zone of the Kosi. So far we have evacuated 16,800 people, but over 60,000 are still present between the river and its embankment," disaster management department (DMD) special secretary Anirudh Kumar told reporters. “Our latest estimates show 4.25 lakh (425,000) persons living around Kosi in the state could be affected if the river swells drastically. We are trying to move all of them," added Kumar. The landslide and the ensuing damming of the Bhote Kosi, a major tributary of the Kosi has occurred at Jure in Sindhupalchok district of Nepal. The place is located north of Kathmandu and around 260 km from the Bihar-Nepal border.

The DMD special secretary said 15 companies of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), four columns of the army and four companies of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) deployed in Supaul, Saharsa, Madhepura, Khagaria, Araria, Madhubani, Bhagalpur, Purnia and Darbhanga have been asked to lend help in evacuating people. Supaul has been made the headquarters of the evacuation, relief and rescue operations.

The state government has opened 120 relief camps for people and 17 for cattle to accommodate the evacuation. The displaced persons are also being provided shelter in schools and colleges located on high ground. All the camps and shelters have food, sanitation and medical facilities. “The situation is under control so far and there is no need to panic. We are prepared to face any eventuality. Four air force helicopters have been kept ready at Bihta airbase to launch evacuation operations," Kumar said. “Another 17 helicopters belonging to various armed and paramilitary forces are on stand-by in the neighbouring states," Kumar added.

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