Compiled by Dr Dinesh Kumar Mishra (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Government of Bihar, Revenue Department, Report on the Flood and Relief Operations in Bihar for 1948-49. Superintendent, Government Printing, Bihar, Patna, 1951.
Muzaffarpur “During the August floods water from the River Narayani flooded the village Fatehabad. About 100 houses are reported to have collapsed as a result of the breach in the bundh due to change in course of the River Gandak. There were heavy showers and considerable damage was caused to the paddy crops and certain parts of the Sadar and major parts of Katra, Minapur and Sakra thanas experienced floods… During floods in the Ganges, Hajipur sub-division was badly affected and steps had to be taken to arrange relief.” P-15 Continue reading “1948 Floods in Bihar-2 Inaugural flood after Independence – Official Version of Floods and its Aftermath”
Guest blog by Dr Dinesh Kumar Mishra (email@example.com)
Background Bihar is long known for its floods. The British had left India but their legacy of looking at rivers and their floods was still continuing in 1948. They always favored ‘leaving the rivers to their own devices’ and did precious little to tame the rivers. The zamindars used to put temporary and not so temporary embankments along the rivers to provide some flood protection to their ‘ryots’ which used to breach quite often to the detriment of the people living in the flood plains of the river. The repairs of such breaches were the responsibility of the zamindars but if they did not repair the same, the British establishment used to repair it and realize the cost of it from the zamindars. There were only 160 kilometers of ‘well designed and equally well constructed’ embankments on Bihar Rivers then. Zamindars had got a hint from the Government of India that their days were numbered and had little interest in maintaining the embankments in order. It was under these circumstances that the Government of Bihar (GoB) was expected to face the floods for the first time in independent India. Continue reading “1948 Floods in Bihar-1 – Inaugural flood after Independence – View from Press Gallery”