Patna: In what could add to the tensions of the people of Bihar, an Orange Alert was on Wednesday issued for Patna, Begusarai, Khagaria and Vaishali districts for October 3 and 4 as the areas are expected to receive heavy rainfall.
At least 42 lives have been lost in rain-related incidents in Bihar following a torrential spell that occurred between September 27 and 30. As per a release issued by the state disaster management department, 17.09 lakh people were affected by the devastating spell.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been facing criticism for the poor handling of the floods that followed heavy rains in the state.
Kumar, who had earlier this week termed the waterlogging in Patna a natural calamity, today lost his cool at the media.
"I am asking in how many parts of the country and across the world have there been floods? Is water in some parts of Patna the only problem we have? What happened in America?" said the Bihar CM while referring to floods in Houston just days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Texas.
Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal slammed the Bihar CM, saying: “Nitish Kumar only listen psychophants and party leaders, who paint bright pictures before him, but when people raise issues and journalists ask questions he loses cool.”
"It is not the first time this has happened. Our stand is vindicated that Nitish Kumar's sushasan (good administration) has ended," said RJD leader Bhai Virendra.
However, Union Minister Giriraj Singh tendered an apology to the people of Patna for the waterlogging.
Singh acknowledged that waterlogging was a result of mismanagement.
"As there is an NDA government in Bihar, all of us are responsible for it," the senior BJP leader said.
NDRF Commandant Vijay Sinha said the National Disaster Response Force has saved over 10,000 people from Patna. He added that there is no dip in the water level.
"Right now, we are using boats to rescue people. After the water levels recede, we will use the tractors."
Those rescued by the forces in Rajendra Nagar area included personalities like Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Padma Bhushan awardee folk singer Sharda Sinha.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, meanwhile, said that four big pumps were being brought to Bihar in order to remove floodwater.
"I have cancelled my plans back at Delhi and will stay here for few more days. To speed up the relief work, I have asked for four big pumps that will reach here till afternoon. The pumps are of 2-3 tonnes and are very efficient," Prasad said.