PATNA: The Centre and the state government are in a state of extraordinary preparedness to face any eventuality precipitated by the release of 28 lakh cusecs of water accumulated in a lake-like formation caused by massive landslide in river Bhatta Kosi on the Nepal side.
Around 2.25 lakh people could be hit in the nine Bihar districts of Supaul, Saharsa, Madhepura, Khagaria, Purnia, Araria, Madhubani, Darbhanga and Bhagalpur. The state government has ordered forcible shifting of people living between the two Kosi embankments.
The landslide point is located 260km from the Birpur Kosi barrage in Supaul district of Bihar. On the requisition of Nepal government, the Indian experts on Sunday morning drilled three holes in the 1km-wide debris to facilitate controlled flow of water downstream the river. As the flow of water from the site is slow after the drilling, the situation is deemed to be normal. However, the experts are most likely to blast the debris on Monday after which the accumulated water will gush through and take around 17 hours to reach the Birpur barrage.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a two-day tour of Nepal, which has added to the pressing concerns on both the sides to minimize the scale of disaster.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) DIG (training) S S Guleria said five columns of Army jawans would reach the districts concerned. Two columns each would be deployed in Supaul and Madhepura districts. Indian Air Force (IAF) would keep choppers ready at the Chunapur (Purnia) and Bihta (Patna) airbases. Fifteen teams of NDRF and four teams of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) with necessary equipment and inflatable motor boats have been deployed in the nine vulnerable districts for rescue and relief operations, Guleria said. As many as 15 satellite phones have also been provided, including to the DMs and SPs concerned, as part of communications.