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Flood-hit Bihar to seek World Bank help
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | August 10, 2007 16:28 IST
Devastated by floods, Bihar has decided seek financial assistance from the World Bank and other global organisations to rebuild and repair infrastructure including roads, bridges and embankments which were badly damaged, Manoj Srivastava, commissioner of the state disaster management cell, told rediff.com on Friday.
Srivastava said a World Bank team and experts from the US will visit the floods-affected areas on Saturday to discuss financial assistance and other help to rebuild the infrastructure.
Bihar's worst floods have not only rendered hundreds of thousands homeless, it has also damaged lakhs of hectares in standing crops, thousands of houses, roads, bridges, embankments and hundreds of schools.
The widespread damage caused by the floods has led United Nations to label it the worst floods in living memory.
Floodwaters have inundated 19 of the state's 38 districts and hundreds of thousands have been rendered homeless.
Rebuilding infrastructure will be a tough task for the 21-month-old Nitish Kumar government.
Till date about 141 people have died due to the floods and 14 million residents of 6,000 villages have been affected.
Officials said floods have damaged 128 embankments in several districts. The old bunds and canal systems were also damaged.
Similarly, roads, including national highways, were badly damaged in the floods. According to official estimates, 480 km of highway and about 1,100 km of rural roads have been damaged.
Official sources said the centre has asked Bihar to furnish a list of requirements for relief operations, including food grains, motorboats and kerosene.