Bihar, which is seen as the most flood-prone state, has witnessed extraordinarily heavy rainfalls this year and has put life out of gear in the state’s Capital city of Patna. In fact, Patna is reportedly the worst affected area of all the flood affected districts in the state. Till September 19, the state of Bihar had witnessed a relatively dry monsoons season with 20 per cent deficiency in rain fall. However, the current spell of heavy rainfall has brought down the deficit to 2 per cent, which can be taken as a measure of the late monsoon rains that have taken the state of Bihar by surprise and has led to heavy flooding in the state’s Capital, Patna.
Usually monsoon starts retreating from September 1, but this time around it has overstayed for around a month and has brought heavy downpour along with it that has led to a grim flood situation in several districts of the state of Bihar. 29 people have lost their lives due to the heavy downpour in the state so far. Satellite data corroborates a substantial surge in the Ganga and other rivers. Almost all areas in Patna are under knee-deep waters with people struggling to meet their everyday needs. In fact, normal life has been put totally out of gear in the State’s Capital with businesses suffering badly. What is particularly worrisome is that even drug stores had to remain shut out of the fear of their stocks getting damaged or even washed away in the floods.
Almost all public utilities have been seriously disrupted in Patna. Railway, hospital, power and educational institutions have been deeply impacted due to the rains. In view of the gravity of flood situation, the Bihar government has also announced closure of all schools situated in the affected areas till Tuesday.
Over 24 trains going via Patna have been cancelled, while several other trains have been diverted. Almost all platforms of the Patna Railway station have been submerged in water. Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), one of Patna’s leading government hospitals has also bore the brunt of the heavy downpour. Water has reportedly entered the children and emergency ward.
This kind of heavy rainfall and flooding is largely unprecedented when it comes to Patna. On Sunday, people woke up to four- to six-foot-deep waterlogging in many areas of the Capital which shows the usually high intensity of rainfall this year. Officials say Patna has not witnessed such waterlogging since the 1975 floods. This therefore is the worst situation in the last 44 years when it comes to Patna. What is even more worrisome is the fact that the water level of Ganga continues to rise. This further reduces the chances of the water receding in the near future. National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) DG, S.N. Pradhan spoke about the evacuation efforts and the gravity of the flood situation. He said, “The situation is unprecedented,it’s almost like a cloud burst. Impact is mainly due to water logging. Out of 19 NDRF teams deployed, 5 are in Patna. We’ve evacuated about 4,000 citizens since morning.”
SN Pradhan, DG of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)on Patna floods: The situation is unprecedented,it's almost like a cloud burst. Impact is mainly due to water logging. Out of 19 NDRF teams deployed, 5 are in Patna. We've evacuated about 4,000 citizens since morning #Bihar pic.twitter.com/BufkcTH4L5
— ANI (@ANI) September 30, 2019
Patna Sahib MP and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has also swung into action as Bihar’s Capital struggles in the face of the fire flood situation. He met with MLAs and the District Administration officers and also chaired a meeting over the flood situation in Patna. The legislator has thus shown his commitment towards the region that he represents.
Meanwhile, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has blamed nature’s fury in the form of excessive rains and not the lack of preparedness and prompt response to the flood situation by the State agencies. He said, “There has been heavy rainfall in some areas since yesterday and water in Ganga River is rising constantly. But there are proper arrangements and administration is at the spot.” However, as per an India Today report, the common people have blamed the Nitish Kumar government for its “lacklustre” approach over the present state of flood in Bihar. A Times Now report states that the floods have exposed how the drainage system and sewerage system were choked and the water pumps failed function properly. According to the report, is the reason why Patna faced intense water logging after it rained for a couple of days. It is true that the rains were extraordinarily heavily and also an unexpected upsurge as the monsoon is generally expected to be in its retreat at this time of the year. It is also admitted that no one can battle nature’s fury. However, an efficient administration is supposed to be prepared for any eventuality. Disasters are called disasters because they come all of a sudden and without prior notice. It is therefore the basis of an efficient disaster management system to be prepared at all times. Had the district administration been better prepared, the situation could have been far better.