Victims of 2008 Kosi floods still in peril, reveals RTI
The massive flood in northern Bihar in 2008 due to shifting of course by the Kosi River is still taking its toll on poverty-ridden farmers of the region. During the flood, thousands of houses were destroyed and thousands of acres of cultivable land were rendered uncultivable due to heavy deposits of sand.
After the flood, a programme was initiated with the assistance of World Bank to rejuvenate the flood affected areas. But RTI activists claim that the programme remained merely on papers and thousands of houses (95% of damaged ones) are still waiting to be rebuilt. It has been claimed on the basis of data gathered through the Right to Information (RTI) that a large tract of land in the region is still covered by sand. In Basantpur of Supaul district only, more than fourteen thousand acres of arable land are still covered by sand brought in by the Kosi overflow. Out of the 100,000 houses which the government planned to construct with World Bank aid, just about 5,000 houses have come up
Even Chief Minister Nitish Kumar admitted the ferocity of the problem of sand deposits but nothing concrete has been done. A one-man commission under Justice Rajesh Walia, which was set in 2008 to probe the cause of the breach in Nepal, is yet to submit its report till date.