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Is floods in Bihar a 'rip-off'? – jj
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Is floods in Bihar a 'rip-off'?

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Flood in BiharImage copywrite
AFP

Like almost every year, floods in Bihar have also knocked this year. Due to the continuous rainfall due to last two weeks, the rivers are on the boom. There has been a stroke in the border districts adjacent to Nepal.

Bihar also had floods last year too. However, the effect was not so much. But a year before that, in the year 2017, floods caused a horrific catastrophe in entire northern Bihar.

Some areas adjacent to embankments in the Kosi region are such that floods every year. Losses of millions of lives and property are damaged. It seems as if the people of the floods have become the destinies of the people here.

It is not possible to say when floods in Bihar are coming from. But for the first time since the liberation of India, a project was started in 1953-54 to prevent floods. Named 'Kosi Project.'

During the foundation stone of this project started by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1953, it was said that in the next 15 years Bihar's flood problem will be overcome.

The country's first President, Rajendra Prasad, while addressing the gathering in Barriya village of Supaul during the fundraising program of Kosi Project in 1955, said, "My eyes will remain on one side and the other eye on the rest of India."

Kosi Baraj was inaugurated by Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1965. By creating a barrage, the flow of septic tubes coming from Nepal was united and rivers were turned into Bihar by constructing embankments.

Under the project, irrigation arrangements were made by constructing canals in the entire Kosi region. A hydroelectric power plant was set up at Kataiya, which has the capacity to generate 19 MW electricity.

  • Read also Rahul tweeted the old photos of Bihar-Assam flood

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Neeraj Priyadarshy / BBC

What purpose is ita?

But the question arises that the purposes of which the project was started, were those objectives fulfilled?

The first answer will be, "No." Where, in 15 years, Bihar was asked to stop the flood, while 66 years later, Bihar is facing the flood of almost every year.

A flood in Bihar comes only when the water level of the rivers starts increasing and due to the rapid downstream the embankment breaks down. During the past 66 years, there has also been a flood that has left everything.

The embankment was broken for the first time in August 1963 in Delwa. Then in Jamalpur in Darbhanga in October 1968 and in August 1971, the embankment broke in Supaul Bhutania.

Dambed three times in Saharsa in August 1980, September 1984 and in August 1987. In July 1991, Kosi's dam was broken in the jogins of Nepal. In 2008 again the dam broke in Kusah, which caused a huge devastation. At this time, the two sites have broken the embankment in Kamla Balan and Jhansarpur.

  • Read also Bihar flood: What will save people in 5 hours if Kosi water comes?

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Neeraj Priyadarshy / BBC

Image caption

Environment activist Anil Prakash says, "It is always dangerous to turn the river into a dam."

Was the decision wrong?

In this way, Kosi project has failed so far in its biggest objective. In such a case, the question arises whether the decision to turn the rivers into a river was wrong.

Anil Prakash, an environmental activist who has been protesting to stop the embankment being constructed along the banks of Bagmati in 2017, says, "It is always dangerous to turn the river into a dam."

"This proposal came in the British times too, but they did not follow it, because they knew that the water coming out of the embankment is more dangerous than the water coming directly from the river."

He says, "The river can not be tied, the embankments break down when they are weak and they can not tolerate drift after rising water levels. Has gone. "

"The water level has already increased, the mountains are being swamped in Nepal and if the same continues, the embankment is breaking down, the barrage will flutter tomorrow."

  • Read also Floods in Bihar, 18 lakh people in grief

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Neeraj Priyadarshy / BBC

How much preparation is to deal with the flood?

Kosi project initially had a project of 100 crores. Which was targeted to complete in 10 years

Krishna Narayan Mishra, who lives near Suppur's Veerpur, says, "The actual work that took place about the Kosi project took place during these ten years only, whether it was turning the water on the two sides of Kosi, turning the water east and west canal Make arrangements for irrigation or construction of hydroelectricity in Kataiya. "

But Krishna Narayana Mishra also says that "in the years after which there is a paved harbor in the name of repair, new construction, flood relief and rescue, almost every year the fund passes in this item, the Estimate is formed, But what is the work? If the preparations for repairing the embankment and dealing with floods are done first, then how will they break? "

According to official documents, during the last few years, Kosi mentioned about big things under project, two schemes were created.

The first plan was flood relief and rehabilitation. Under which the World Bank received a fund of 220 million US dollars in 2004 alone. From that to the affected people living on the banks of the embankments, they had to build a permanent house and give land. A total of two lakhs 76 thousand people were marked whose houses were to be built.

The Bihar Government's planning development department has targeted this work in 2012. In the first phase, the target was to build a total of 1 lakh 36 thousand houses.

But in 2008, the embankment breaks near Kusha came tragic. The first phase of work was not completed till 2012. Work continued till last year 2018. But only around 66 thousand people could become master. Now that the scheme has been closed after the first phase.

What happened to the rest of the money? Krishna Narayan Mishra says, "Nobody knows what happened? Yes, after the tragedy of 2008, the Kaushiki Bhawan was constructed in Veerpur."

"Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said at the inauguration from this luxurious building that the floods of the entire Kosi region will be monitored from here, but you can go to Kaushiki Bhawan and you will not understand why a large building was built for whom There was no work to do anymore. "

  • Read also How accurate is it to be responsible for flooding Bihar in Nepal

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Neeraj Priyadarshy / BBC

Now what is the position of Kaushiki Bhavan?

When we arrived at Kaushiki Bhavan, we did not really get any official there. Aces-Ducca employees who were roaming around here On asking, the people went to the site.

Mahendra Yadav, founder of Kosi Navniriman Manch, says, "In fact, Kaushiki Bhawan is a memorial built for the dead people after the Kusah tragedy of 2008. To build floods and to rehabilitate the floods, however, Now only the name has remained. "

The website of the World Bank showed that there is a plan under the name of Bihar Kosi Basin Development Project in Kosi region. The project, which started in 2015, has been set at 2023. This is a total project of US $ 376 million. "

Its main objective is to deal with the potential danger of flooding and distribution of water is to provide irrigation facilities to farmers of Kosi region.

During the reporting, embankments have been repaired in many places. Local engineers said that this work is under the same scheme.

In such a situation when the water of Kosi started breaking the embankments, the water of the embankment touched all over, then what does it mean to do the repair work?

DM Vaijnath Prasad of Araria district says, "There is no point … Now the water has come, the embankment was to be repaired only when the water was not able to enter. We are not working on the embankments here. And focused on the work of rehabilitation. "

Local journalist Dinesh Chandra Jha says, "This is the scam, as far as the water is reached, what does it mean by putting the concrete and sand bags in the bag, how many bags are casted, because everyone is under water. If you put a bag and make a thousand of the estimates then there is no one to investigate. Even if someone will do the investigation? For the contractor it is easy to say that I did everything but all the edges Ha took it. "

One of the main objectives of this project is also to ensure that the water of the Kosi is taken out through the canals and facilitated irrigation.

For this, the distribution canals were to be removed from two canals (from east to west). At the moment, water is everywhere because the flood has come. But local residents say that there is no water in the distribution. There is water in the canal but the small canals which were removed from those canals have never been given attention.

Krishna Narayan Mishra, showing a pumping set immersed in water, says, "If there is water in the distribution, then why it is necessary to set up a pumping set!"

The hydroelectricity house that was built in Katiya under Kosi project is also very unhealthy. Where it was to produce 19 Mw of electricity, while the production is far away, its motor and the plant have to take 20 MW power from outside to keep it.

Local engineers say that it was restored some years back. 12 megawatts were also produced, but maintenance and maintenance could not be done.

The worst thing about the Kosi project is that it does not want to talk about its failures. Now that the flood is a blow, officials are avoiding answering questions. We have started imposing upon the officials of our top.

When we talked to the Water Resources Department, Chief Engineer Rajesh Kumar said that talk to the disaster department for this.

Image copywrite
Neeraj Priyadarshy / BBC

Principal Secretary of Department of Disaster Management says, "At this point, all our attention is on focusing on tackling floods. What happened before, did not happen, it will be done later."

By answering the questions on the Kosi Project, the prefix was saved. Clearly, the work under the project is under the water resources department and it should be taken from them. "

The fact that the nectar says to take account of the accounting, there is one truth too. Mahendra Yadav of Kosi Navnirmana Manch says, "Till date thousands of flood victims have not been compensated for this."

"The inquiry committee was formed at the time of the tragedy of Kushah, he said in his report that all this is happening due to the failures and negligence of the system, but no action has been taken on anyone."

It is clear that there was unaccounted money in the name of Kosi project. still being. But worse than this, the work that was spent for the money is not possible till today.

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