The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), helped evacuate 46,500 marooned and saved 47 people from drowning in Bihar during the last 18 days of flood relief and rescue operation, which was scaled down on Thursday.
The specialised force for disasters tapered its operation, de-inducting 10 teams, while still leaving 18 teams, as rivers showed a receding trend, easing flood situation in Bihar.
The number of deluge-related fatalities remained unchanged at 514, with no fresh death reported from the 19 flood-hit districts. Though 116 relief camps continued functioning, the number of people staying there dwindled to 61,495 as compared to 1.38 lakh on Tuesday, said a state disaster management department (DMD) official.
The 10 teams de-inducted would return to Mundali in Odisha, where the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had forecast low pressure in the Bay of Bengal from September 1. An alert has already been sounded there, said officials.
The NDRF had deployed altogether 28 teams, each comprising 40-45 personnel for Bihar floods. While 14 teams were from its home unit — the 9, NDRF battalion at Bihta in Patna — 10 teams of 3 batallion were airlifted from Odisha’s Mundali and four from its 7, battalion in Punjab’s Bhatinda district.
While seven teams from its home unit had pre-positioned themselves in flood-prone districts of Supaul, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj, Bettiah and Patna on June 27, most others moved in between August 12 and 16, immediately after the state government sought the Centre’s help.
All these teams had taken up position in flood ravaged districts of Katihar, Kishanganj, Purnia, Araria, Khagaria, Supaul, Darbhanga, West Champaran, East Champaran, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Samastipur, Gopalganj, Muzaffarpur and Saran.
Besides evacuating 46,500 people of the 1.71 crore affected by floods, the NDRF also facilitated three childbirths on its rescue boats while evacuating 102 pregnant women, said Vijay Sinha, NDRF commandant, 9 batallion.
Gopalganj district magistrate Rahul Kumar told Hindustan Times, “We did a block-wise assessment of all pregnant women and prepared a consolidated data on their expected date of delivery so as to ensure they were evacuated in time from flood-hit areas.”
Working in tandem with civil officials, the NDRF also helped in distribution of 134 tonne relief material and in providing medical assistance to 13,617 people.
The 18 NDRF teams remaining are presently deployed in Khagaria, Motihari, Saran, Muzaffarpur, Bhojpur, Supaul, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Begusarai and Patna.
Help continues to pour in
PTI adds: Helping hands for the marooned people of Bihar continued pouring in. Bollywood star Aamir Khan had sent a cheque of Rs 25 lakh on behalf of his film production company, Aamir Khan Productions Ltd, an official statement said here.
BJP Rajya Sabha member CP Thakur donated Rs 20 lakh from his MPLAD fund for relief work in Sahebganj and Paru blocks of Muzaffarpur.
Art and Culture minister Krishna Kumar Rishi gave a cheque of Rs 1 lakh. Several other MLAs and former legislators also contributed to the flood relief work.