Patna: A commission probing an embankment breach in the Kosi river that caused Bihar’s worst floods in 50 years submitted its report Monday to the state government nearly six years after it was set up.
“One-man inquiry commission headed by Justice Rajesh Walia, retired chief justice of the Patna High Court, has submitted its final report to Bihar Chief Secretary Ashok Kumar Sinha here at his office,” an official said.
But in view of the ongoing campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls, the report will not be made public, he added.
According to officials, the commission was expected to submit its report in six months. But its term was extended 10 times and the report has been delayed by nearly six years. It has already spent over Rs.1.5 crore of public money till date.
The Kusaha embankment near the India-Nepal border on the Kosi river was breached Aug 18, 2008.
Five districts of north Bihar were flooded, killing at least 250 people and rendering nearly three million people homeless. More than 300,000 houses were destroyed and at least 840,000 acres of crops damaged.
The state government appointed the Walia commission after the opposition said the cause of the breach should be probed. It was asked to examine all aspects related to the efforts to maintain the utility of the Kosi project since its inception in 1953 — particularly after a major landslide in 1979 pushed the Kosi towards its eastern bund — and a breach in 1991.
The victims are hoping the commission’s report, when it comes, will bring them justice. Hundreds of them are still fighting for survival as thousands of acres of cultivable land flooded in the Kosi region is still covered with sand.