Patna/Kolkata/Guwahati: The flood situation remained grim in Bihar, while absence of major downpour during the day led to slight improvement in West Bengal, even as the inundation of railway tracks led to cancellation, diversion and short termination of trains to Assam.
The toll in Bihar floods has risen to 56, with 69.81 lakh people being hit by inundation in 13 districts of the state. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made his second aerial survey of flood-hit areas today. He was accompanied by Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh.
In north Bengal, where five districts have been affected by the deluge, the toll is seven. About a lakh people have been affected, 60,000 alone in worst-hit Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts.
Special secretary in Bihar disaster management department, Anirudh Kumar said Araria area in the state accounted for 20 flood-related deaths, West Champaran – 9, Kisanganj – 8, Sitamarhi – 5, Madhepura – 4, East Champaran, Darbhanga and Madhubani – 3 each and Sheohar – 1.
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He said 69.81 lakh people are in the grip of floods which has engulfed 98 blocks and 1,070 panchayats in the eastern state.
Kumar added 1.61 lakh people have been taken to safer places. Out of them, 85,949 have been put up in 343 relief camps in different places.
Addressing the Independence Day programme in state capital Patna, Nitish Kumar expressed concern over the “grim flood situation” and said the flood was caused by incessant rains in Nepal.
The situation is grim in north Bihar, where rivers are flowing above the danger level and have caused immense loss and damage, he said.
In north Bengal, apart from the worst-hit Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri districts, North Dinajpur, Cooch Behar and Malda districts were also affected in the flood, sources in the district administrations said.
Many of the flood affected have taken shelter in relief camps, they said.
In the absence of major rains during the day, water levels of all major rivers in north Bengal which were flowing above the danger marks, have now come down to some extent.
The state administration is monitoring the relief and rescue operations round-the-clock as per the instructions by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Water discharge from Gajoldoba barrage on the Teesta river has flooded new areas of Mal block and worsened the situation in areas like Milanpalli, Basusuba and Champadanga, officials said.
Villages in Dhupguri and Moynaguri blocks of Jalpaiguri have been inundated and a large number of people have taken shelter in government relief camps, they said.
However, the overall situation in Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts was improving. If there was no rainfall in the next couple of days, water levels in all major rivers in north Bengal would recede and be below danger mark, the authorities said.
Eastern Railway chief Public Relations Officer R Mahapatra told PTI that a number of trains originating from the city were cancelled as flood water was flowing above rail tracks in areas under North East Frontier Railway (NFR) jurisdiction.
With railway tracks flooded at many places in Katihar and Alipurduar divisions of Northeast Frontier Railways, a number of long distance trains have either been cancelled, diverted and short terminated, a NFR release said in Guwahati.
The cancelled trains include the DEMU between Silghat Town to Guwahati, the Dibrigarh-Lalgarh Express, Kanchanjungha Express, Padatik Exp and Teesta Torsa Express, NFR chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma said.
The trains put under short termination and short origination are Seemanchal Exp at Arariya, Kolkata-Jogbani Express at Simraha, Kolkata-Balurghat Express at Malda Town and Howrah-Balurghat Express at Buniyadpur.
With track fit certificate with speed restrictions in Alipurduar-New Coochbehar section received, the trains which will resume are the Alipurduar Junction-Bamanhat-Alipurduar Junction passenger, Siliguri Junction-Bamanhat-Siliguri Junction passenger and Alipurduar Junction-Kamakhya-Alipurduar Junction Intercity Express, Sharma added.