• Short Summary

    In India, where the flooding has been the worst for over a century, many rivers have been receding to normal level.

  • Description

    In India, where the flooding has been the worst for over a century, many rivers have been receding to normal level. But, in the Malda district of Bengal, near the Farakka dam, more rain has been falling, and the district has had to evacuate villages by boat.

    SYNOPSIS: A terrible aftermath of the flooding has been outbreaks of disease. Cholera and gastro-enteritis have already killed at least one hundred and ninety - two people. A mass inoculation drive is now under way, and more than five million people have been inoculated in Bihar.

    Huge stocks of chorine have been distributed to combat disease. This village is close to the Farakka barrage, which controls the flow of the Ganges near the Bangladesh border. The Ganges river has caused most of the havoc in the north. Army boats ferry villagers to higher ground and refugee camps. Agriculture Minister Surjit Singh Barnala said damage so far is estimated at more than one hundred and sixty five million dollars.

    More than thirty-eight and a half million people have been affected by the floods, and the estimated death toll has risen above twelve hundred. Indian newspapers report that the Janata Legislature Party (JLP) has postponed its elections until the next session because of the floods. Cabinet members and the JLP executive have donated a month's salary for flood relief.

    Agriculture Minister Surjit Sing Barnala has predicted that, despite the floods, India can expect good crops this year. Monsoon rains which destroyed more than a million homes have also boosted likely crop yields in some areas. Flooding destroyed between two and three million tonnes of food-grains, but the Kharif crop sown during the summer should equal last year's record seventy-seven million tonnes.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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