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Last Updated : Aug 11, 2020 02:19 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Nepal not cooperating in flood relief work: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar tells Prime Minister Modi

More than 74.20 lakh people of 16 districts in Bihar have been affected by the calamity, Nitish Kumar told Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A partially submerged government building is seen in a flooded area in Bhagalpur district in Bihar, July 28, 2020. (Reuters)
A partially submerged government building is seen in a flooded area in Bhagalpur district in Bihar, July 28, 2020. (Reuters)

Bihar Chief Minister (CM) Nitish Kumar has drawn Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attention towards Nepal's "non-cooperation" in carrying out flood management work. The Bihar CM has sought his intervention on the matter. Rivers originating in Nepal have inundated several districts in the northern parts of the state.

At a meeting convened by the Prime Minister on the flood situation in states hit by the calamity, Kumar also said that Bihar was not getting its share of water from the Ganga and urged the Centre to take up the matter with Bangladesh.

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The Chief Minister alleged that the neighbouring country has not been extending "full cooperation" over the past few years, which has resulted in delayed completion of the repair of embankments.

"The repair work which should have been complete by the end of May could be completed only by the end of June. Flood management work is carried out in the border areas by the water resources department of Bihar, as per an agreement between India and Nepal," he told the Prime Minister.

"We received no cooperation from the government of Nepal this year, while we were to repair an embankment in Madhepura and another one in Madhubani, that falls in no man's land. This situation deserves attention," Kumar said in the meeting held via video conference.

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He also recalled that nearly 13 districts of the state had been affected by floods caused by the Ganga in 2016 and said that the state's riverine areas remain submerged for long periods due to slow discharge from the Farakka Barrage. This issue needed to be arrested, the chief minister said.

"As per the Indo-Bangladesh agreement, a discharge of 1,500 cusecs has to be ensured through the barrage. Of this, Bihar contributes 1,100 cusecs and is left with only 400 cusecs for its own use. This deprives Bihar of its due share of water from the Ganga, despite the river flowing through its territory," he said.

Presenting a summary of the current flood situation, he told the Prime Minister that more than 74.20 lakh people of 16 districts in the state were affected by the calamity, out of whom 5.80 lakh have been evacuated with the help of 23 NDRF and 17 SDRF teams.

He also said that 27,000 displaced people have been provided with shelter at 19 relief camps while more than nine lakh were being fed at 1,267 community kitchens. "I have personally visited many of these places and taken stock of the arrangements in place, in addition to aerial surveys of inundated areas," he said.

"Special attention is being given to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in flood-affected areas. Observance of social distancing is being ensured at relief camps and the inmates are being tested for the coronavirus," he added.

(With PTI inputs)

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First Published on Aug 11, 2020 02:19 pm