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Bihar flood toll mounts to 304, situation grim in UP and Assam, life limping back to normalcy in West Bengal

Train services continued to be affected in Bihar as floodwaters have overtopped tracks. An East Central Railways statement said train services have resumed on some sections under the Samastipur division with speed restriction.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: August 22, 2017 7:31 IST ]
Death toll mounts to 304 in Bihar

The fury of floods is refusing to relent in Bihar as the death toll in the state mounted to 304 on Monday with  51 people losing their lives between Sunday and Monday alone.

Around 1.5 crore people in 18 districts of Bihar have been affected by the floods. Even after 12 days, the flood water is showing no signs of receding. 

Around 7.34 lakh people have been shifted to safer areas.  Close to 3.27 lakh people are putting up in 1,346 relief camps. 

Araria district accounted for 71 deaths alone, Sitamarhi (34), West Champaran (29), Katihar (26), Madhubani (22), East Champaran (19), Darbhanga (19), Madhepura (15), Supual (13), Kisanganj (11), Gopalganj (9), Purnea (9) Muzaffarpur (7), Khagaria (6), Saran (6) and Saharsa (4), Sheohar (4). 

 
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar held a high-level ministerial meeting on Monday to take stock of the flood situation.  Principal Secretary in the Disaster Management Department Pratyay Amrit said food packets were being airdropped in the inundated areas on war footing. 

The CM ordered that damaged roads be restored at the earliest. 

Meanwhile, train services continued to be affected as floodwaters have overtopped tracks.  An East Central Railways statement said train services have resumed on some sections under the Samastipur division with speed restriction. 

Chief Public Relations Officer of the ECR Rajesh Kumar said 11 trains have been cancelled for tomorrow.  These include 15549 Jaynagar-Patna Intercity Express, 25909 Link Express, 15211 Darbhanga-Amritsar Express and 15212 Amritsar-Darbhanga Express, he said.

Meanwhile, the figure of flood fatalities rose by three each in Assam and Uttar Pradesh. However, life in the deluge-ravaged areas of West Bengal slowly limped back to normalcy, with the water level of rivers receding. 

UP: Death toll mounts to 72

The overall situation in Uttar Pradesh is grim. Three more deaths have pushed the flood toll to 72, the state relief commissioner’s office said.
 
Over 20 lakh people have been hit by the current spell of floods in 24 districts of the state. 2,688 villages are under water. 

A flood report said 43,602 people have taken shelter in relief camps in the affected districts of eastern UP, whipped by the raging waters of the rivers emanating from Nepal.  Army choppers, NDRF and PAC (flood) jawans continued relief and rescue operations round-the-clock in the severely hit areas of the flood-affected districts of the state.  The release of water in the rivers emanating from Nepal and incessant rains impeded rescue work and evacuation of people to safer areas.
 
Twenty-one companies of the NDRF, 30 of the PAC (flood), two choppers of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and several columns of the Army were working day and night to save lives and properties in the affected areas.
 
A Central Water Commission report said the Sharda was flowing above the red mark at Palia Kalan and near the danger mark at Shardanagar while the Ghaghra was flowing above the red mark at Elgin Bridge, Ayodhya and Turtipar (Ballia). 

Assam: Death toll climbs to 70

Three more lives were lost in Assam floods while 12 districts continued to be affected. 

Two persons drowned in Darrang and one in Kokrajhar of lower Assam, pushing the death toll in the second wave of floods in the state to 70, an Assam State Disaster Management Authority report said. 

Altogether 14.36 lakh people are bearing the brunt of the flooding in the 12 affected districts. 

Water is receding from human habitation and agricultural fields though over 76,000 hectares of farmland with standing crops is still inundated in the 12 districts, the report said.  More than 46,000 people are putting up in 125 relief camps. 

The floods have damaged embankments, roads and bridges in Dhemaji and Dhubri districts, the ASDMA said.  The floodwaters have claimed the lives of 215 animals, including 13 rhinos and a Royal Bengal Tiger, at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, a senior forest official said.  

Due to the flooding, the animals at the UNESCO World Heritage Site are facing a food shortage within the park, compelling them to go to the nearby hills, tea gardens and even human habitations in search of food, KNP Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Rohoni Ballav Saikia said.  Meanwhile, the situation in West Bengal improved further with the water level of rivers receding and no major rainfall recorded in the last 24 hours, an official of the Disaster Management department said. 

“Our officers are constantly monitoring the situation as people are returning home from relief camps. However, water is yet to recede in some parts as the Mahananda river is still flowing above the danger mark,” he said.  Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said floods in West Bengal have claimed 152 lives so far and affected around 1.5 crore people. 

The state has suffered a loss of around Rs 14,000 crore due to the deluge, she said.

(With PTI inputs)

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