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42 die in UP Floods: Army called out
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | August 31, 2006 14:29 IST
Officials attribute the floods to sudden release of waters from certain dams on Himalayan rivers in Nepal. "The Rapti, Ghaghra and Saryu rivers, which originate in Nepal have swollen on account of release of water from the dams in the Himalayan kingdom and there is little that we can do about it", said a spokesman of the home department. The rivers were well above the danger mark affecting parts of at least seven of UP's 70 districts and over 100,000 people.
The worst-affected district was Balrampur along the Indo-Nepal border, where as many as 45 villages were marooned, leaving at least 48,000 people crying for help. Among the other affected districts were Bahraich, Lakhimpur-Kheri, Shravasti, Lakhimpur Kheri (all adjoining the Nepal border), Gonda and Barabanki.
According to state relief Commissioner Renuka Kumar, "The Ghagra river which has been in spate for the past several days , has already breached the embankments at some places and overflowed into villages, causing loss of not only human lives, but also cattle and property."
She told this scribe, "Army help was sought in Barabanki and Bahraich districts, to evacuate people from 15 completely marooned villages." Army jawans were also assisting the civil authorities in repairing breaches along the embankment of different rivers.
In other places, the Provincial Armed Constabulary soldiers were pressed into service to provide relief to the affected people.
She said, "Relief measures were in full swing and sufficient funds were forwarded to the affected districts to ensure timely relief to the affected people."
Meanwhile, with the Nepal authorities continuing to release water on account of rains in the upper reaches, the rising rivers threaten to engulf more villages in the coming days on this side of the border.