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The floods in Bihar: The fault is not in our stars!

7 0 0
02.10.2019

Bihar’s devastating floods this year will be remembered for many things. The scale of human misery. Blaming it on the stars. Who can easily forget Union minister of state for health and family welfare Ashwini Choubey’s remark: “The downpour, which has been lashing Bihar for the past few days, is because of the Hathiya Nakshatra, during which sometimes there is very heavy rainfall. The rains have now taken the form of a natural disaster.” Then there is that vivid photograph of deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and his family members being rescued on a boat from his flooded residence in Patna, which will surely go down as one of the defining images of urban India as it seeks to cope with erratic and unpredictable weather, one telling effect of climate change.

The number of floods in India have been steadily rising — 90 in the 10-year period between 2006 and 2015, up from 67 in the 10 years between 1996 and 2005, according to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. The death toll due to floods is also going up.

As we know, from visuals on our television screens, ordinary people in Patna, Bihar’s capital city, and home to over two million people, have been at the receiving end of immense suffering in recent days. Many used lifeboats to escape heavily waterlogged homes. Although the rains appear to have stopped, large parts of the city, especially the low-lying areas, remained submerged, with schools and shops shut.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Dr Ravikant Singh of Doctors for You, a medical charity, spoke about about how his team had rescued the head of the........

© Deccan Chronicle