Every year, India awaits monsoon rains with much anticipation. Rains bring a much-needed respite from the blistering summer heat across India’s vast plains. However, for some regions, mostly in India’s east, monsoon brings misery in its wake as the accompanying floods greatly affect lives and livelihoods, spread diseases and displace lakhs of people every year. Bihar and Assam are some of the major states that have been facing the brunt of incessant rainfall annually.
The water levels have risen sharply across rivers in eastern India mainly due to the heavy rains in catchment areas of Nepal, Bihar and the Northeast India. Heavy rain in the catchment area of the Gandak river along the Nepal-India border have caused a flood-like situation in Bihar endangering lives and property.
Roads have been washed away at several districts like Muzaffarpur in Bihar. Thousands of people have been forced to take refuge in higher places or leave their villages for safer areas. In the midst of the increasing havoc of floods in Bihar, people are also fearful of erosion.
On 7 July, Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar conducted aerial surveys of the flood-affected districts and directed concerned officials to carry out a realistic assessment of submerged areas. He also directed them to provide necessary relief and support to the affected people. However, unhappy over a lack of relief and no help from the state government, flood victims, derived their own solution to facilitate movement by converting tyre tubes and containers into boats.
According to the met department, Bihar and East Uttar Pradesh topped the list with an excess of 111% and 89% rainfall respectively, in the month of June.