Patna: The death toll due to floods in Bihar mounted to 72 on Wednesday, as 73.44 lakh people across 14 districts have been hit by inundation which was triggered by incessant rains in Nepal and northern part of the state. The death toll stood at 56 on Tuesday.
Araria accounted for 20 flood deaths, followed by Sitamarhi (11), West Champaran (9), Kisanganj (8), Madhubani and Purnea (5 each), Madhepura and Darbhanga (4 each), East Champaran (3), Sheohar (2) and Supual (1), said Anirudh Kumar, special secretary in the state disaster management department. He said 73.44 lakh people are in the grip of flood which has engulfed 110 blocks and 1,151 panchayats spanning 14 districts, with Gopalganj also getting submerged today. The special secretary said 2.74 lakh people have been evacuated and taken to safer places. Out of them, 1.16 lakh have been put up in 504 relief camps in different places. Community kitchens have been started for victims in marooned areas and available line hotels, aganwadi kendras and railway stations in Katihar district are being used for running community kitchen, the principal secretary to the disaster management department, Pratyay Amrit said. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was scheduled to conduct an aerial survey of Bettiah, Valmikinagar areas with Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi during the day could not do so due to bad weather. He, however, monitored the flood situation from Patna through interactions with senior officials. Pratyay Amrit held a meeting through video conferencing this evening with districts officials and gave them directions on helping the flood victims. Train services continued to be affected due to the calamity and rail movement is completely disrupted in many sections, a statement from East Central Railways chief public relations officer Rajesh Kumar said. These included the Motihari-Valmikinagar Road section of Samastipur division as water is flowing over the rail tracks in Narkatiaganj yard, besides Chamua-Narkatiaganj, Narkatiaganj-Sathi sections and Semra yard. Rail service was hit in Sitamarhi-Raxaul section of Samastipur Division due to flooding of tracks between Chaura Dano-Adapur stations and Kundwa Chainpur-Bairagnia stations. The Sugauli-Raxaul section of the saw flood waters submerging Sugauli and Raxaul yards and inundate area between Raxaul-Ramgarhwa stations. In Darbhanga-Sitamarhi section of Samastipur division the flood water is flowing over rail tracks between Janakpur Road-Bajpatti stations and Kamtaul-Jogiara stations. As a result several trains passing through these sections have been cancelled, diverted, short terminated and short originated, he said. The trains cancelled today include Indore-Guwahati Express commencing tomorrow, Sealdah-Saharsa Hatey Bazare Express today and the corresponding Saharsa-Sealdah Hatey Bazare Express commencing on August 17. The Rajendra Nagar(Patna)-New Jalpaiguri Express will short terminate at Katihar till further advice starting from today, the CPRO said. Bihar BJP President Nityanand Rai contributed Rs 11 lakh on behalf of the party to the chief minister's relief fund.