Flood in Bihar are a recurring natural disaster that has affected the state for many years. Bihar, located in the northern part of India, is prone to floods due to its geographical location and the presence of major rivers like the Ganges, Gandak, Kosi, and others. These rivers, originating from the Himalayas and their tributaries, carry massive volumes of water during the monsoon season, leading to widespread flooding in the state.
The main factors contributing to floods in Bihar are as follows:
- Heavy Monsoon Rains: The primary cause of flooding in Bihar is the heavy and relentless monsoon rainfall during the months of June to September. The region receives a significant amount of rainfall, leading to the swelling of rivers and their tributaries.
- Topography: Bihar has a vast network of rivers and plains with a gentle slope. The low-lying topography and the flat terrain make it susceptible to waterlogging and inundation during the monsoon.
- River Brahmaputra: The Brahmaputra River, which flows through neighboring Nepal and the northeastern states of India, is one of the main contributors to floods in Bihar. It joins the Ganges in the state, and the combined flow of these rivers worsens the flood situation.
- Siltation and Riverbank Erosion: The rivers in Bihar carry a significant amount of silt and sediment from the Himalayan region. Over the years, this has led to the raising of riverbeds, reducing their carrying capacity and increasing the risk of overflowing during heavy rainfall. Riverbank erosion is also a common problem, displacing communities living along the riverbanks.
- Deforestation and Environmental Degradation: Extensive deforestation and environmental degradation in the catchment areas of rivers have led to a reduction in the natural water retention capacity of the region, exacerbating the flood situation.
The impacts of floods in Bihar are severe and wide-ranging:
- Loss of Lives and Livelihoods: Floods often lead to the loss of human lives, damage to property, and destruction of crops. Many people are forced to evacuate their homes, leading to displacement and disruption of livelihoods.
- Infrastructure Damage: Floodwaters cause significant damage to roads, bridges, railways, and other infrastructure, hampering transportation and communication networks.
- Agricultural Losses: Bihar is primarily an agrarian state, and floods result in the destruction of standing crops, which has a direct impact on the agricultural economy.
- Health and Sanitation Issues: Floods create conditions conducive to the spread of waterborne diseases like cholera, diarrhea, and malaria, posing a threat to public health.
- Impact on Biodiversity: Floods can also disrupt the ecosystem and lead to loss of wildlife and their habitats.
To mitigate the impact of floods, the government of Bihar, along with the central government, has undertaken various measures, including construction of embankments, flood control structures, river-linking projects, and early warning systems. However, the challenge remains due to the scale and frequency of flooding events, making it crucial to focus on comprehensive and sustainable strategies for flood management and disaster preparedness.