Bihar Floods

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  • 8/8/2019 Bihar Floods



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  • 8/8/2019 Bihar Floods


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    JustJustONEONE form/type of floods destroys northform/type of floods destroys northBihar persistentlyBihar persistently

    Floods isaFloods isa NATURALNATURAL phenomenonphenomenon

    Floods in north BiharFloods in north Bihar OCCUROCCURdueto Nepaldueto Nepal

    People of north Bihar have gotPeople of north Bihar have got USEDUSED to theto therecurringphenomenonrecurringphenomenon

    State governmenthas beenState governmenthas been GENUINELYGENUINELYworkingto minimizethe incidence of floodsworkingto minimizethe incidence of floods

    ThereareThereare VARIOUSVARIOUS reasons for northreasons for northBiharsunderBiharsunder--developmentdevelopment

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    Unlikeearlier floods in 2008 the River itselfUnlikeearlier floods in 2008 the River itselfchangedchanged thepaththattoo upthepaththattoo up--to severalto severalkilometres.kilometres.

    Its MagnitudeIts Magnitude-- Too largecompared to earlierToo largecompared to earlierfloodsfloods -- morethan 2.5 lakhhouses destroyedmorethan 2.5 lakhhouses destroyed

    Submerged AreaSubmerged Area-- Muchhigher comparativelyMuchhigher comparatively--crops in 1.06 lakhhectare wiped off.crops in 1.06 lakhhectare wiped off.

    Intensityof water forcesIntensityof water forces-- huge flow of waterhuge flow of waterthroughthe breach wentupto 1.9 lakhthroughthe breach wentupto 1.9 lakh cubic feetcubic feetper secondper second

    The worstaffected districts: Supaul, Saharsa,The worstaffected districts: Supaul, Saharsa,

    Madhepura, Araria, Purnia & KatiharMadhepura, Araria, Purnia & Katihar

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    866866 villages destroyedvillages destroyed -- India TodayIndia Today

    Minimum Rs. 10,000 crore lossMinimum Rs. 10,000 crore loss -- India TodayIndia Today No. of persons directlyaffectedNo. of persons directlyaffected-- MuchhigherMuchhigher

    No. of deathsNo. of deaths-- cannot beassessedcannot beassessed Asper Sahara TV, who havespecial correspondentAsper Sahara TV, who havespecial correspondent

    in theaffected area, it is feared thateven one lakhin theaffected area, it is feared thateven one lakhpeople mighthave losttheir lives.people mighthave losttheir lives.

    Morethan 2000 campsare needed for the displacedMorethan 2000 campsare needed for the displaced-- India TodayIndia Today

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    Present dayPresent day Intense; Frequent; Devastating;Intense; Frequent; Devastating;Sorrow; Chaos; Scarcity; Loss; Destructive;Sorrow; Chaos; Scarcity; Loss; Destructive;OpportunityOpportunity

    PostPost--independenceindependence Skepticism; Insecurity;Skepticism; Insecurity;Displacement; Conflicts; Politicized; Enthusiasm;Displacement; Conflicts; Politicized; Enthusiasm;


    Historical timesHistorical times Wayof life; Prosperity; SelfWayof life; Prosperity; Self--

    reliance; Harmony; Festivityreliance; Harmony; Festivity

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    Taming of Rivers (Breach in the embankment, River Kamla Balan, MadhubaniTaming of Rivers (Breach in the embankment, River Kamla Balan, Madhubani 20072007))

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    AnAn EARTHEN WALLEARTHEN WALL builtalongthe riverbuiltalongthe riverwhich dividesthe landscape into two prominentwhich dividesthe landscape into two prominentsectionssectionsriversideand countrysideriversideand countryside

    PurposePurpose waswas toto PREVENTPREVENT river waterriver waterspilling into thecountrysideand therebyreducingspilling into thecountrysideand therebyreducingits impact on human, livestockand agricultureits impact on human, livestockand agriculture

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    Firstpublicannouncement on 6th April 1947atFirstpublicannouncement on 6th April 1947at

    Nirmali in Supaul district on flood managementNirmali in Supaul district on flood managementstrategystrategy

    Dam on the Kosi at Barahkshetra in Nepal. Expected toDam on the Kosi at Barahkshetra in Nepal. Expected to

    irrigateirrigate 1.25 million hectares1.25 million hectares of land. Produceof land. Produce

    3,300 megawatts3,300 megawatts (MW) of electricity(MW) of electricity

    Embankments was referred to astheEmbankments was referred to asthe mostmost

    outdated techniqueoutdated technique to control floodsto control floods

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    Theestimated cost of theproposed (1947) wasTheestimated cost of theproposed (1947) was 1,0001,000million INRmillion INR, and projectcostshot, and projectcostshot upto.upto. 1,770 million1,770 million


    The governmentpreferred to emphasize on excessiveThe governmentpreferred to emphasize on excessivepower generation asthe reason for notexecutingthepower generation asthe reason for notexecutingtheproject. Then thetotal power generated in thecountryproject. Then thetotal power generated in thecountry

    waswas 1,750 MW1,750 MW

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    Heavy floods in north Bihar inHeavy floods in north Bihar in 19531953

    Project waseventuallyshelved dueto theProject waseventuallyshelved dueto thecost factorcost factor

    Government was forced to take someGovernment was forced to take some

    immediate steps to tackle floods on animmediate steps to tackle floods on anadhocadhoc basisbasis

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    On gettingtheOn gettingthepoliticalpolitical sanctionsanction of constructingof constructingembankments, in May1954, Rai Bahadurembankments, in May1954, Rai BahadurKanwar Sain, Chairperson, and Dr K L Rao,Kanwar Sain, Chairperson, and Dr K L Rao,

    Director, Central Water Power CommissionDirector, Central Water Power Commission(now Central Water Commission) weresentto(now Central Water Commission) weresenttoChinato studyChinato studyRiverRiver HwangHwang HoHo

    It wasastrangeapproach, the decision ofIt wasastrangeapproach, the decision ofconstructingconstructingembankmentsembankments had alreadybeenhad alreadybeentaken and theexperts weresentto primarilytaken and theexperts weresentto primarily

    justifythe decision.justifythe decision.

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    Theembankments of famous Hwang Ho river inTheembankments of famous Hwang Ho river inChinahad breached onChinahad breached on 15001500 occasionsoccasions,, changedchangeditscourseitscourse 2626 timesandtimesand could not becould not be broughtbrought

    within theembankmentswithin theembankments99times(recorded sincetimes(recorded since1047104719541954))

    Theembankmentshad breachedTheembankmentshad breached 200200 timestimesbetweenbetween 18551855 -- 19541954

    In the floods ofIn the floods of 19331933, theembankments, theembankmentsbreached inbreached in 5050 pointsaffectingpointsaffecting 1111,,000000 squaresquarekilometres(sqkm)and killingkilometres(sqkm)and killing 1818,,000000 peoplepeople

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    The British governmenthad started toembank Damodar River in 1854to

    safeguard the railwayline between

    Howrahand Raniganj

    Followingtheconstruction of theembankment

    Natural tanksand lakes in thecountrysidestarteddyingan unnatural death

    Impacted on the fertilityof thesoil

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    The British government wascompelled toThe British government wascompelled to demolishdemolishthethe3232 kmkm long rightembankment of the riverlong rightembankment of the river

    ThesituationThesituation onlyonly became normal in 1863became normal in 1863

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    ItItdoes not pay to tamperdoes not pay to tamper withwiththe flow of the river carrying heavythe flow of the river carrying heavy


    Embankments along the river canEmbankments along the river can resultresultin a net loss in one singlein a net loss in one singleincident of their breachingincident of their breaching

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    TheThe CONTROLCONTROL the flow of floodwater couldthe flow of floodwater couldonlybechecked byreducingthearea of itsspreadonlybechecked byreducingthearea of itsspreadand hence increasing itsvelocityand hence increasing itsvelocity

    Hence,Hence, theerodingcapacitytheerodingcapacity increasesincreasesproportionately, whicherodesthe banksandproportionately, whicherodesthe banksanddredgesthe bottom of the riverdredgesthe bottom of the river

    This results in addingto the widthand depth ofThis results in addingto the widthand depth ofthe river, therebyenhancingthethe river, therebyenhancingthedischargecapacitydischargecapacity

    of the riverof the river

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    No otherNo other alternativealternative

    The benefits outweighthecostsThe benefits outweighthecosts

    Designed byDesigned byEXPERTSEXPERTS EmploymentEmployment generationgeneration

    Example of forward thinkingExample of forward thinking

    People raising issues weretermed asPeople raising issues weretermed asmisguidedmisguidedandand anti social elementsanti social elements

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    The natural processThe natural process of building deltaand floodof building deltaand flood

    plain getsthwartedplain getsthwarted

    Raisingthe water and river bed levels(EmbankingRaisingthe water and river bed levels(EmbankingKosi has led to an increase ofKosi has led to an increase of 2 metres2 metres in the lowerin the lower

    reaches withinreaches within 30 years of itsconstruction30 years of itsconstruction) AND) AND

    siltationsiltation Occurrence of natural floodshave been replaced byOccurrence of natural floodshave been replaced by

    human made floodscausinghuman made floodscausingerosion of productiveerosion of productive


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    Excessive water loggingExcessive water loggingasper state governmentsasper state governmentsreport, approximatelyreport, approximately00..88 million hectares of landmillion hectares of land

    is waterlogged everyyear,is waterlogged everyyear, 1515 per centper cent ofofagriculturalagricultural land is rendered uselessaffectingland is rendered uselessaffectinglivelihood oflivelihood of66 millionmillion peoplepeople

    7676 per cent of the landper cent of the land in north Bihar isin north Bihar isflood affected and approximatelyflood affected and approximately8686 per centper centof people depend on agriculture for theirof people depend on agriculture for their


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    19741974 1616..3939 millionmillion peoplepeopleaffectedaffected

    19871987 2828..22 millionmillion populationpopulationdevastateddevastated

    20042004 2121 millionmillion populationpopulationravagedravaged 20072007 2525 millionmillionpopulation plunderedpopulation plundered

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    Repair Vicious cyclethat perpetuatesmismanagementof public fiscal


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    In 1952, thestatehadIn 1952, thestatehad 160160

    kilometreskilometres (kms)(kms) ofof

    embankmentand the floodembankmentand the flood

    pronearea was onlypronearea was only2.5 million2.5 millionhectares (mh)hectares (mh)

    In 2002, theembankment wasIn 2002, theembankment was3,430 km3,430 km and the flood proneand the flood pronearea of thestatehasextended uparea of thestatehasextended up

    toto 6.88



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    RecklessconstructionRecklessconstruction of roads, and to an extentof roads, and to an extent

    railwaylines withoutanyproper drainage facilitiesrailwaylines withoutanyproper drainage facilities Inadequatesluice gates in theembankmentsInadequatesluice gates in theembankmentstoto

    channelizechannelize the flow of rainwater/tributaries intothe flow of rainwater/tributaries into

    the riverthe river

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    North Bihar hasaNorth Bihar hasalonghistorylonghistoryof floodingof flooding

    Theeastern embankment of Kosi near KusahaTheeastern embankment of Kosi near Kusahain Nepals Sunsari district breached and this wasin Nepals Sunsari district breached and this was

    thecause of the flooding Sincethe Kosi riverthecause of the flooding Sincethe Kosi river

    flows from Nepal the factthatembankmentsflows from Nepal the factthatembankmentsthere werethere weresilted and breachedsilted and breachedwas justwas just


    Heavylosshad occurred in roadHeavy losshad occurred in road networknetwork


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    Major riversMajor rivers, includingthe Ganga,, includingthe Ganga,

    Punpun, Ghaghra, Burhigandak, Bagmati,Punpun, Ghaghra, Burhigandak, Bagmati,Kosi and Mahananda, were flowingaboveKosi and Mahananda, were flowingabovethethedanger markdanger markatseveral places.atseveral places.

    Thepeopleaffected bythe breach of anThepeopleaffected bythe breach of anembankmentcannotstay in their housesembankmentcannotstay in their houses

    so theyend up living for longperiods ofso theyend up living for longperiods oftime intime in makeshift dwellingsmakeshift dwellings on theon the

    embankment itself. Itsaembankment itself. Itsamiserablemiserableexistence.existence.

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    SufferingsSufferings termed/projected, as wayof lifetermed/projected, as wayof life

    Compromised survivalCompromised survival

    TotalTotal dependencydependencyon external supportand aidon external supportand aid Social developmentprocessesSocial developmentprocessesmanipulatedmanipulated byshortbyshort

    term relief interventionsterm relief interventions

    Stunted interest in investing in longtermStunted interest in investing in longtermdevelopmentdevelopmentcommitmentscommitments andand engagementsengagements LocalLocalsolutions made irrelevant despite rich wisdomsolutions made irrelevant despite rich wisdom

    InstitutionalizedInstitutionalized patron client relationshippatron client relationship

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    HugeHugeexpenditureexpenditure on healthserviceson healthservices Inaccessibility/unavailabilityofInaccessibility/unavailabilityof

    governmentgovernment servicesservices

    Dwindling/unpredictable/limited/loss ofDwindling/unpredictable/limited/loss oflivelihoodlivelihood opportunitiesopportunities


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    PolythenePolythene-- asthereareso manypeopletakingasthereareso manypeopletaking

    shelter on embankments, rail tracksandshelter on embankments, rail tracksand

    roadsides.roadsides. Drinking waterDrinking water isa major problem for theseisa major problem for these

    areasespeciallyfor those who are living on theareasespeciallyfor those who are living on the

    embankmentand roads.embankmentand roads. SanitationSanitation isaproblem for women.isaproblem for women.


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    TemporaryshelterTemporaryshelter and familykits.and familykits.

    InadequatehealthInadequatehealth care facilitiesareavailable forcare facilitiesareavailable fortheevacueesand somecaresto betaken fortheevacueesand somecaresto betaken for

    specific diseases like Kalajar ,Diarrheoa.specific diseases like Kalajar ,Diarrheoa.

    AllAll schoolsschools areclosed and no educationalareclosed and no educational

    activities for last one monthactivities for last one month

    Cattle feedCattle feed andand veterinarycamps / vaccinationveterinarycamps / vaccination

    ProgramProgram in variousplaces.

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    The International Federation of Red Cross andRed Crescent Societies (IFRC) is working to

    coordinate the procurement and delivery of10,000 tents to affected regions

    State govt. asked for Rs 6,000 millions at oncefrom the Centre.

    3 Army helicopters and military boats had beenengaged for Relief and Rescue. 29,397 foodpackets have been airdropped and 154,744packets by military boats and 1,918.15 quintalsof other materials have been air dropped


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    77,,112112 boatsboats been deployed;threehelicopterswereused for air dropping..1919 PowerboatPowerboat hadhadbeen sentto theaffected districtsand somebeen sentto theaffected districtsand some

    armyboatshad been deployed.armyboatshad been deployed. Gratuitous Relief asWheat distributed:Gratuitous Relief asWheat distributed:

    161161,,367367..1010 QtlsQtls..

    Readymade food distributed:Readymade food distributed: 77,,446446..9494 QtlsQtls Matchboxes:Matchboxes: 151151,,458458 [nos][nos]

    Candles:Candles: 179179,,973973 [nos][nos]

    Polythene SheetsPolythene Sheets [distributed]:[distributed]: 33,,790790,,4949 metresmetres..

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    GOI approvedGOI approved Kosi ProjectKosi Projectin 1953, and the riverin 1953, and the riverwas embanked during 1955was embanked during 1955--60, paving way for60, paving way forembanking all other major riversembanking all other major rivers

    The eastern embankment of KosiThe eastern embankment of Kosi -- 125 kms125 kms

    long, stretches fromlong, stretches from BirpurBirpur inin SupaulSupaul toto KopadiaKopadiainin SaharsaSaharsa

    Western embankmementWestern embankmement 126 kms long126 kms long,,stretches from Bhardah in Nepal to Ghongepurstretches from Bhardah in Nepal to Ghongepur

    in Saharsain Saharsa Embankments were supposed to protectEmbankments were supposed to protect

    214,000 ha214,000 ha of land from recurring floodsof land from recurring floods

    The embankment has breachedThe embankment has breached 8 times8 times

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    Barrage constructed near Birpur in 1963 toBarrage constructed near Birpur in 1963 tofacilitate irrigation offacilitate irrigation of712,000 hectars712,000 hectars

    through Eastern Kosi main cannalthrough Eastern Kosi main cannalAnother canal called theAnother canal called the western Kosiwestern Kosi

    canalcanal is yet to be completed. Afteris yet to be completed. Aftercompletion it is expected to irrigatecompletion it is expected to irrigate325,000 ha325,000 ha of agricultural landof agricultural land

    ApproximatelyApproximately 380 villages380 villages spread over 13spread over 13blocks and 4 districts are trapped betweenblocks and 4 districts are trapped between

    the embankmentsthe embankments

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    Catchment area of aboutCatchment area of about74,000 sq kms74,000 sq kms

    85 per cent is located in Tibet and Nepal85 per cent is located in Tibet and Nepal Total length ofTotal length of468 kms468 kms of which 248 kmsof which 248 kms

    lies in the Indian territorylies in the Indian territory

    Silt load of 9,495 hectare metresSilt load of 9,495 hectare metres River has shifted westward in pastRiver has shifted westward in past250250

    yearsyears by 112 kmsby 112 kms

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    A Map Depiction :

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    A Satellite Captured Image :

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