New Delhi: Even as Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh struggled to cope with floods, the situation in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar continued to remain grim with the death toll touching 415 across the two states, according to disaster management authorities.
The union home ministry had issued a warning for Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, with the river Rapti flowing above the danger mark.
The home ministry said the river at Bansi in Sidharthnagar was at “stage orange" which indicates a high flood level.
Bihar’s disaster management authority said 229,000 people had been rehabilitated across 1,085 relief camps in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be conducting an aerial survey of the extent of flood damage on Saturday.
“We have 21 teams that are working across UP and several teams working in Bihar. With assistance from the Indian Air Force, a lot of affected people have been airlifted to safety. The relief and rescue operation is ongoing in both states," said a senior National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) official.
Another senior home ministry official stated that even though relief work was ceaselessly being carried out across both states in the flood affected districts, the overflowing of several rivers and constant rains tended to slow down rescue operations.
Besides claiming hundreds of lives, the floods have also destroyed villages and crops across the north-eastern region. Hundreds of thousands of people across several states are living in relief camps.
But it is not just humans, thousands of animals including cattle are also suffering and fighting for their lives.
“Animals are in dire need; injured, starving and at high risk of disease—the floods have damaged pastures for months to come compounding the emergency with starvation. By helping animals, we not only alleviate their suffering, but also help the people who rely so heavily on them for their livelihoods, transport and food," said Hansen Thambi Prem, disaster project manager- India at the World Animal Protection, an NGO working for animal welfare.
Though the government has claimed it is taking all possible measures to tackle the situation, some groups have criticized the authorities.
In a statement, the All India Kisan Sabha criticized the Centre and State governments saying they shown a “callous attitude."
“Compared to the gravity of the flood the government machinery did not succeed in ensuring effective relief operations. The administration was ill equipped to arrange safety boats and relief materials and put up camps especially in Bihar, Assam and West Bengal. AIKS demands that the central government and governments of the respective states give up callous attitude and intensify immediate relief and rescue operations on war footing. Central government must declare the deluge as national calamity and announce compensation of Rs5 lakh to dead and Rs2 lakh to those seriously injured," the statement said.