Need a long-term solution

This monsoon has been unprecedented for Bihar. Normally, floods occur in August and September. But in 2019, the scene has reversed. In July, at least 13 districts, out of total 38, were affected by a flash flood. Most of these districts share border with Nepal. Apart from incessant rainfall in north Bihar, heavy downpour in the Himalayan Kingdom added to the problem. Altogether, 134 persons died in the flood this year while more than 84 lakh people were hit. Sitamarhi and Madhubani topped the chart with 37 and 30 deaths respectively. Both the districts share border with Nepal, which releases several lakh cusecs of water every year. Most of the rivers which originate in Nepal, flow through Bihar thereby inundating several lakh hectares of land.

“The floods has affected 25.92 lakh families,” said Pratyaya Amrit, principal secretary, Bihar Disaster Management Department. Experts have suggested the construction of dams along the Bihar-Nepal border which may help in curbing the annual flood problem. But since the border falls in the seismic zone, neither India nor Nepal is willing to take such risk (of constructing dams). “It’s for the Centre to take up the matter with Nepal and come out with a long-term solution,” said a state government official.