Madhubani: With around three dozen villages of nine panchayats of Madhepur block in Madhubani district flooded with river water for a period of more than three months in monsoon season, thousands of local residents have to cover long distance on boat in search of drinking water.

Generally water of river Koshi enters the 35 villages of Gadhgaon, Basipatti, Darah, Dwalakh, Mahpatiya, Bhagata, Karhara and Bheja Panchayats of Madhepur block either during last week of June or first week of July and the affected villagers are flooded with the river water till September. As a result, they lack the facility of drinking water, food, transportation and medical treatment.

Locals prefer migrating to nearby areas which are not in the grip of river water. However, it does not provide them a solution to all their problems. The male residents have to cross river Kosi in search of work, whereas females have to visit far flung areas in search of drinking water. Each family of these villages owns a boat, and most family members are skilled with the art to row the boats.

In wake of the delay in medical treatment, many people have died due to snake bites, whereas few expectant females have also died due to poor medical facilities in the area during the monsoon season.

Construction of embankment on the banks of river Kosi has made the situation even worse for the local residents. Notably, this region was quite prosperous before the construction of embankment. People from far off areas used to visit these villages to buy milk and milk products. Previously, a major milk processing plant was functional at the Madhepur market.

According to villagers including Saini Saday, Sahiya Saday and Shobit Mandil, the construction of embankment has proved a bane for them. After the construction of embankment, people of other areas are not even interested in getting their children married in the villages affected by river water.

JPN/Bureau