Amid forecasts of the monsoon reaching Bihar in a couple of days, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday stressed on the need for dealing with floods, which may follow the downpour, without neglecting the measures in place for containing the spread of COVID-19.
At a high-level meeting that he chaired, Mr Kumar directed officials to make arrangements so that those displaced by floods are relocated at camps without compromising on social distancing norms.
“I wish that floods do not ravage north Bihar this year. But, we must need to be prepared,” he told the officials, referring to the natural calamity which is known to strike almost every year, often resulting in loss of life and property on a large scale.
“I am glad to learn that many of the tents that were put to use in flood-affected districts last year are still in a usable condition and that these were utilised during the lockdown period.
“We would, however, need to keep in mind that this year if the floods strike, people will have to be relocated while ensuring social distancing. We must rise up to the challenge,” the chief minister said.
Nearly a dozen districts in north Bihar were devastated by flash floods last year, which followed torrential rain in the catchment areas of Nepal.
Mr Kumar reminded officials of the water-logging in many parts of the state capital in October last year, after a three-day spell of heavy rainfall, which had reduced many localities of the city to marooned islands, and called for efforts to ensure that citizens were not inconvenienced this time.
He also took note of the rise in COVID-19 cases in Bihar, where on an average, more than 100 new infections have been cropping up every day for quite some time, and told the officials to focus on setting up more isolation centres for accommodating those testing positive until they were declared fit for home quarantine.