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PHOTOS: Flood fury affects lakhs in Assam, UP and Bihar

August 22, 2014 19:15 IST

PHOTOS: Flood fury affects lakhs in Assam, UP and Bihar

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Union minister for Development of North Eastern Region Vijay Kumar Singh on Friday said floods in Assam is "nothing new". "Flood condition is nothing new to Assam. I have been dealing with floods in Assam since 1970 onwards," Singh said at a press conference in Guwahati.

On his ministry's role in finding a way to handle this perennial problem, Singh said "DoNER has got no role in flood control. It is a job of Ministry of Water Resources. DoNER funds are not enough even to contribute to type of things that the state requires.

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PHOTOS: Flood fury affects lakhs in Assam, UP and Bihar

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"I can be initiator. I can be catalyst. I can assist. I can suggest. I can push. But if you are thinking that the DoNER is going to do flood control, I am sorry that is not done. We have to go to the charters," the Union minister said.

He said DoNER's role is to carry forward development work in the field of infrastructure, education, health sector, employment and skills among others. When pointed out that the flood creates huge challenge and destroys a lot of developmental works, Singh said "It is not being stopped but flood causes damage to life and property. So let’s separate it out. Let’s not get just stuck on floods... Flood is not just development. Flood is only a part of the issue."

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PHOTOS: Flood fury affects lakhs in Assam, UP and Bihar

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He said silting of Brahmaputra is a big problem and nobody gave a serious thought on this over the years. Singh also said he will recommend the water resources ministry to conduct an in-depth study on Brahmaputra considering various aspect.

On August 15, Manisha Shukla, a resident of the flood-hit Bahraich district in Uttar Pradesh, gave birth to a baby boy while being rescued by National Disaster Response Force.

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PHOTOS: Flood fury affects lakhs in Assam, UP and Bihar

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The child was successfully delivered by trained NDRF personnel present on the rescue motorboat.

On the night of August 15, while a roaring flood approached the Mihinpurwa village, Manisha started getting labour pains. Manisha’s distraught husband Pradeep contacted the authorities over the phone, but to no avail. This went on for 20 hours.

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PHOTOS: Flood fury affects lakhs in Assam, UP and Bihar

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On August 17, as a last resort, Pradeep contacted the block development officer, who informed the NDRF, which swung into action. After hours of struggle, they NDRF’s 9th Batallion reached the Shukla house, and decided to take Manisha, who was in unbearable pain, to a hospital.

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PHOTOS: Flood fury affects lakhs in Assam, UP and Bihar

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En route to the hospital, Manisha lost consciousness. This alarmed the NDRF personnel, and without wasting time, they decided to deliver the baby on the motorboat. Within minutes, the baby boy was born, and the jubilant personnel named him ‘NDRF’.

Meanwhile, the flood situation in some parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh continues to be grim on Friday with the rivers Ghagra and Rapti flowing in "High Flood Situation".

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Image: Pradeep and Manisha Shukla aboard the NDRF rescue boat
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

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PHOTOS: Flood fury affects lakhs in Assam, UP and Bihar

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The ministry of water resources said the river Ghagra at Darauli at Siwan district of Bihar is now flowing in High Flood Situation. At 6.00 am on Friday, it was flowing at a level of 61.42 m with rising trend which is 0.60 m above its danger level of 60.82 mts. It is 0.32 mts below its previous Highest Flood Level of 61.74 mts recorded on 29-08-1998, the ministry said in a release.

At Gangpur in Bihar, the river was flowing at a level of 57.85 mts with rising trend which is 0.81mts above its danger level of 57.04 mts and 0.16 mts below its previous of 58.01mts recorded in 1983.

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Photographs: Sandeep Pal

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The river Rapti at Balrampur in UP is also flowing in High Flood Situation. At 6.00 pm on Friday, it was flowing at a level of 104.83 mts with rising trend which is 0.21mts above its danger level of 104.62 mts and 0.42 mts below its previous HFL of 105.25 mts on 11-09-2000, the release said.

Floods in UP have so far claimed 89 lives.


Image: The NDRF team
Photographs: Sandeep Pal

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