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Rats caused Bihar floods, says minister; earlier they were high on alcohol

Rats are the main reason behind the floods in the state, said the water resources minister

Surbhi Gloria Singh  |  New Delhi 

Flood situation in Bihar grim
Flood-affected villagers shift with their belongings in Purnea district on Tuesday. Photo: PTI

Bihar is under crisis and do you know who is to blame for all of this mess? - Rats. Two ministers on Friday blamed the rodents for the floods that devastated the state’s northern and eastern parts last month. "Seepage from the Kamlabalan river through the embankments, which led to flooding of large areas and breaching of the embankments, was caused by rats. Rats are the main reason behind the floods in the state,” said water resources minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh after reviewing the flood situation. "People living close to the embankments store their grains on the embankments, which draws a large number of the rats. These animals then make holes in the embankments, weakening the structures and ultimately causing floods,” said Singh added. Dinesh Chandra Yadav, Bihar’s minor irrigation and disaster management minister, also backed Singh’s theory. “Rats play a major role in weakening the embankments. They are certainly a reason for the floods. There seems to be no solution for rats and mosquitoes,” he said. In May, 2017 Bihari rats consumed alcohol Rats of Bihar were in high spirits in May - or so the state Police insisted. Rodents were believed to have finished off more than 900,000 litres of alcohol which the police had seized from people flouting prohibition laws in the state. The issue came up after the media reported that the seized bottles of liquor were missing from police station 'malkhanas' (stores). "We have asked the Patna zonal IG to inquire into the matter. Based on his findings, the state police headquarters will initiate further action," Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) S K Singhal had told PTI. Meanwhile, the police arrested the president of the Bihar Police Men's Association, Nirmal Singh, and a member of the association, Shamsher Singh, for consuming liquor. Flood condition in Bihar Around 514 people have died so far and as many as 1.71 crore people spread across 19 districts of Bihar have been hit by this year's flood. The flood situation is improving with no fresh casualty in the past 24 hours and the number of relief camps reduced to half at 54. The water level is receding at several places much to the relief of the affected people, the state's disaster management department said in a release. The relief camps have come down to 54 from 107 reported yesterday, the department said. The number of people taking shelter at relief camps too has come down to 25,383 against 57,109 yesterday and 1.10 lakh people were given cooked food at 272 community kitchens against 1.20 lakh people having food at 318 community kitchens till 24 hours ago. Meanwhile, donations worth Rs 43.03 lakh were made in the Chief Minister's Relief Fund today.

State Rural Works Minister Shailesh Kumar handed over a cheque for Rs. 1.01 lakh to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Shailesh Kumar also gave a cheque of Rs 15 lakh on behalf of his department in the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. The Chief Minister thanked persons and organisations for their donations for relief and rehabilitation works for the flood-affected people and implored them to be more sensitive towards them. Twitter expresses exasperation.

First Published: Sat, September 02 2017. 10:56 IST