PATNA: The flood situation in Bihar worsened on Thursday as the death toll mounted to 98 due to the deluge which has affected nearly 93 lakh people in 15 districts, forced postponment of examination and cancellation of trains. The toll due to the floods triggered by rains in Nepal and northern parts of the state was 72 on Wednesday, and 73.44 lakh people in 14 districts were hit. Saharsa was the latest district to be affected, officials said. Though the Met office has forecast possibility of rain in southern Bihar for one more week, there would be less rainfall in Nepal and northern parts of Bihar.
The health department has launched a toll free number 104, officials said, adding hospitals have been directed to maintain a sufficient stock of anti-snake and anti-rabies injections. Araria district accounted for 20 deaths, followed by East Champaran (14), West Champaran (13), Madhepura (12), Sitamarhi (11), Kisanganj (8), Purnea (5), Madhubani (5), Darbhanga (4), Saharsa (3), Sheohar (2) and Supual (1), said Disaster Management Department Principal Secretary Pratyay Amrit.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar accompanied by his Deputy Sushil Kumar Modi and Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh conducted an aerial survey of the marooned areas in Gopalganj, East Champaran, Sheohar and Sitamarhi districts among other areas. Amrit said 3.59 lakh people have been rescued to safer places. Out of them, 2.13 lakh were put up in 504 relief camps in different places while 1,112 community kitchens are feeding 3.19 lakh flood victims.
Food packets are being airdropped in inundated areas while in places where flood waters have receded they are being supplied through panchayats. Amrit said 114 boats of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), 92 of SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) and 70 of the Army are deployed for relief and rescue related works. Principal Secretary (Health) R K Mahajan said 'boat ambulances' are also being operated by the administration. In case of shortage of doctors in primary health centres, administration would hire private doctors on payment, Mahajan added. Mahajan, also principal secretary of education, said examination in Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, was scheduled to start on Friday but it has been postponed.
Principal secretary, Road Construction, Amrit Lal Meena said 124 roads, including national highways, have been damaged in floods. Rural Works Department principal secretary Bipin Kumar said 222 hand pumps have been disinfected in Araria and 219 in Kisanganj so that citizens could get purified drinking water. Animal Husbandry principal secretary Vijaylakshmi said 50 ambulatory vans are working in flood-hit areas to attend to sick animals and 196 veterinary doctors have been deputed. Meanwhile, train services continued to be affected.
An East Central Railways statement said 39 trains have been cancelled as water overtopped tracks. The cancelled trains included 12235 Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani, 12424 New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani till August 20.
Many trains have been short-terminated.
Vijay Sinha, Commandant of 9th battalion of NDRF, said the force's personnel rescued 25 pregnant women, 55 animals and saved eight from drowning. The NDRF team yesterday facilitated the birth of a baby girl on its boat in Madhubani district.