Bihar Floods: When Will the Compensation Game End? 

Compensation is the last resort but what about preparation before the floods?

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Floods have wreaked havoc in Bihar. In July, more than 120 people lost their lives and at least 80 lakh have been affected. This is not the first time Bihar has witnessed the disaster. The tragic tale, however, repeats itself year after year, and the same game of granting compensation to victims is played out.

The death toll keeps rising and people who have been rendered homeless have little choice but to pitch tents on the streets.

Amid the relief operations and the chaos of rehabilitation, Bihar's Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Sushil Kumar Modi announced that more than 4 lakh flood-hit families have been given Rs 6,000 as compensation.

While the compensation will certainly be of use, this isn’t the first time that the government has announced compensation as opposed to putting in place effective machinery to mitigate the disaster.

Even in 2017, 649 people had died in Bihar because of the floods. At the time too, the government had announced the same compensation for those who were affected.

When a tragedy like this hits, crores are spent in the name of shelter, rescue and various other kinds of compensation. However, the death toll keeps climbing every year. In the last 15 years, the Nitish Kumar-led government has spent thousands and crores on floods, and yet, a long-term solution hasn’t been found.

The World Bank granted Rs 15,16,22,90,000 to India for rehabilitation and flood-relief operations. Around 2 lakh people were supposed to get pakka houses and land. But till 2018, only 66,000 houses were built.

The question persists: Why is the government unable to tackle the floods? Why do people have to suffer because of the government’s ineptitude, or, should we say, indifference?

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