Bihar Floods 2021

In the year 2020, we collaborated with Megh Pyne Abhiyan to monitor floods and their impact in Bihar. A lot of data was collected (sourced from Water Resources Department – WRD, Disaster Management Department – DMD and Flood Management Improvement Support Centre – FMISC, Govt of Bihar, and Indian Meteorological Department – IMD, Govt of India), flood trends were analysed and related issues were raised.

We are happy to inform that we will continue our monitoring work in Bihar during the forthcoming flood season, with the hope of expanding it to other states in the coming years.

A quick recap of the 2020 flood situation in Bihar
Compilation of Bihar’s flood data of 2020. Data available till 9th September 2020.
Data source: DMD, Govt of Bihar

Bihar experienced a second flood cycle in the fourth week of September 2020. The data for the second cycle remains unavailable, and therefore has not been captured in the compilation above. (Information accessed from DMD, Govt of Bihar).

A quick video showing flood trends in Bihar – 2020

The animation here shows floods trends of Bihar through the 2020 flood season.

Data source: FMISC, Govt. of Bihar

Monitoring Bihar Floods 2021

We start our work for 2021 by looking at two important documents released in the month of May. On 4th May DMD, Govt of Bihar, released a document on “Pre-Flood Preparedness”, and on 5th May, WRD, Govt of Bihar, released the “Flood Control Order 2021”.

We translated the two official documents from Hindi to English (downloadable from the ‘files & references’ section at the end of this webpage). A careful reading of these documents show that while the announcements are routine, and sometimes just copied from previous years, however they provide us with official information on commitments for flood preparedness. Therefore, we’ve decided to list the deadlines and related tasks mentioned in these two documents for wider dissemination and consciousness.

Section wise list of deadlines and related tasks from the Flood Control Order 2021, WRD, Govt of Bihar

  1. General Guidelines:
    • It will be the responsibility of the concerned main constituents to compulsorily carry out the inspection of strengthened vulnerable sites before June 15, 2021, for the protection of the embankments falling in their respective areas to avoid accidental breaches in case of a flood situation
    • As in previous years, the concerned Chief Engineers (CE) are expected to issue flood surveillance rules to their subordinate officers for flood control by May 1, 2021, which includes the details responsibilities of officials ranging from CE to Junior Engineer (JE) level
    • The CE will have full control and supervision of the regional officials for the protective works during flood, so that the breakage, holes and damaged parts made by mice are completed before 15 June, 2021 to save from any kind of structural damage leading to floods
  2. Central Flood Control Cell – Assistance Centre and Regional Flood Control Cell – Help Centre – Regional Flood Control Room
    • From June 15, 2021, the Central Flood Control Cell – Help Center – Regional Flood Control Room will start functioning in the Irrigation Building at the Secretariat and will be continuously operational for 24 hours till October 31, 2021
  3. Patrolling – Surveillance
    • During the flood period (June 15 till October 31, 2021), there is a plan to deploy additional home guards as armed or lathi forces for tight security of embankments located on various rivers of the state. The Regional Engineers / staff of the WRD will carry out regular patrolling of the embankments, structures etc. as before to keep a constant vigil
    • The list of vulnerable sites should be sent to the CE, Planning and Monitoring, Irrigation Building, Patna by June 1, 2021, showing the maps in five copies along with the names of the rivers and embankments
    • It is directed that, two employees of class IV category, should be permanently deputed between June 1, 2021, and October 31, 2021, at these vulnerable sites and important spurs
    • All encroachments should be removed in a timely manner, so that all the necessary restoration work can be easily carried out before June 15, 2021, under the supervision of the Executive Engineer (EE) and should be given utmost priority
  4. Communication of Information
    • The Assistant Inspector General (AIG) – Finance will ensure action by June 15, 2021, based on the order no with serial 5.01.1 (B), 5.01.2 and 5.01.3 (refer to order)
    • In connection with telephone, CE, will contact the officials of BSNL to set up phone connections in the vulnerable locations by June 15, 2021
    • The AIG – Finance will pay special attention to sending the operators required by the WRD with the necessary accessories for setting up and operating the wireless units and also ensuring that all the wireless units will become functional from June 15, 2021. The AIG – Finance will take care for the WRD that the departmental wireless units also work without any problems. Necessary repair work in these units should be completed by June 15,2021

List of deadlines and related tasks from Pre-Flood Preparedness Document, DMD, Govt of Bihar

  1. Regarding private indigenous boats, necessary action should be taken before 15 June as per departmental letter – 2001 / AP date – May 18, 2020, and letter – 2428 / AP date – June 27, 2020. (refer to document)
  2. The critical aspect of the pre-flood preparedness is the best use of available human resources. Nomination of nodal officers, their training, deputation at block, subdivision and district level, deputation of regional supervisors and their training, deputation of volunteers trained in search and rescue operations, motorboat drivers etc. should be done before June 15.

Through the flood season, different kinds of information will be shared from the ground level, through aid organisations, media reports and official government channels. We are making a repository of this information and will be sharing insights that we have gained in the form of maps, timelines and articles.

Bihar’s Flood Inundation Map for 2021 (as shared by FMISC Bihar)

Move the slider to see how the inundation pattern has changed between the first released inundation map (left) and the most recent version (right).
References
Official Public Broadcast accounts on Twitter

Contact us:

For any queries, please reach out to us at meghpyneabhiyan.mpa@gmail.com or contact@veditum.org. A mirror of this page is hosted on Megh Pyne Abhiyan’s website.

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