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Bihar flood fallout: Over 3,500 still missing

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | October 15, 2008 13:48 IST

Over 3,500 people, including women and children, are still missing after floods ravaged Bihar two months ago.

Tracing flood victims remains a big challenge for officials and NGOs involved in relief and rehabilitation. So far, government agencies have failed to trace them.

Meanwhile, hundreds of families of missing people in the flood-affected districts of Madhepura, Saharsa, Supaul, Purnia and Araria, are optimistic that their missing kin will be traced. They have been running from pillar to post ever since water receded to get information about their dear ones.

Till now, 3,611 people have been reported missing officially, an official of the state disaster management department said.

"The names of missing people have been registered and efforts are on to trace them," Arvind Choudhary, director of Bihar Livelihood Project, said in Patna on Wednesday.

The government is taking the help of a Hyderabad based firm -- Safal Solutions Private Limited -- to prepare a database of the complaints, which are being lodged through toll free numbers and control rooms at relief camps.

Earlier, the government also sought the help of IT giant IBM to compile a database to help track missing people. However, IBM found it difficult to compile a database due to lack of identity profile.

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