People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 27

July 08, 2012




Kisan Sabha Convention on Flood, Erosion,

Settlement of Displaced People


Avdhesh Kumar


THE Bihar state unit of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) organised a state level convention on the vital issues of recurring floods, land erosion, and relief and rehabilitation of displaced people at Comrade Ramjatan Paswan Nagar, Kusheswarsthan (Darbhanga district) on May 26-27, 2012. A total of 258 delegates from flood-prone districts of North Bihar, viz Darbhanga, Madhubani, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Saran, Begusarai, Madhepura, Saharsa, Supaul and Samastipur attended the convention. The venue was decorated with Kisan Sabha flags and banners.


It may be noted that Kusheswarasthan block is the worst flood affected block and remains submerged in flood water for five to six months every year. The area is famous for glorious struggles for land and against feudal atrocities. The late Comrade Ramjatan Paswan, who was a dalit, was a leader of these struggles and was elected thrice to the Bihar state assembly from this constituency.




The convention was preceded by a public meeting where Noorul Huda and N K Shukla from the AIKS centre and Rajendra Prasad Singh and Avdesh Kumar from the state Kisan Sabha addressed the gathering. All of them condemned the two decades old US dictated neo-liberal policies of the bourgeois-landlord the central and state governments as a result of which an overwhelming majority of the rural people have been suffering from landlessness, poverty, pauperisation, and extreme distress. Acute crisis in agriculture has become the order of the day and in different states thousands of poor and marginal farmers are committing suicide due to indebtedness. On the other hand, prices of essential commodities are soaring steeply, and rampant corruption is eating into the vitals of the rural economy. The speakers deplored the unscientific water management policies of the central and state governments, due to which Bihar and many other states have to face devastating floods almost every year even after a lapse of 65 years since independence. They strongly urged for consistent and powerful struggles for a permanent solution of the flood menace in consultation with experts in the state and with central assistance. The state Kisan Sabha has decided to intensify the struggle for immediate relief to the affected people and for other measures in the coming monsoon from the state government.


The meeting was also addressed by veteran kisan leader Vijay Kant Thakur who opined that the Nitish Kumar led JD(U)-BJP state government, in spite of getting most favourable kind of media publicity, was not at all serious in tackling the menace of floods, erosion and rehabilitation of affected people, in the state.


The public meeting was  presided over by local Kisan leader Ramanuj Yadaw and seated on the dais were prominent leaders Arun Kumar, Binod Kumar, Sudhir Jha and Montu Thakur.


The state convention was inaugurated by Noorul Huda who denounced the increasingly low investment in agriculture by both the bourgeois-landlord led central and state governments after 1991, since the adoption of neo-liberal policies. As a result of this, costs of agricultural production have increased manifold. With the gradual withdrawal of subsidies on fertilisers, seeds, pesticides, irrigation and for want of cheap credit, agriculture has become unviable for large sections of farmers. He was scathingly critical of both the central and the state government’s refusal to implement the recommendations of various commissions on control of floods, erosion and other natural calamities. He demanded that the state government, in consultation with the central government, appoint a high-power expert committee to study the impact of floods in Bihar and suggest measures for control of floods and erosion in the least possible time.




The state Kisan Sabha’s general secretary introduced the resolution of the convention, explaining that “floods occurring almost every year, have adversely affected the development of Bihar. The National Flood Commission has described Bihar as one of the  worst  flood affected regions in the country; 69 lakh hectares of land, i.e. 41 per cent of cultivable land in Bihar, and 17 per cent of the flood affected region in the country are flood prone. About 56 per cent of the total flood affected people in the country live in Bihar. The state suffered from floods six to seven times in the last one decade alone. The 2002-03 floods had affected 1.6 crore of population and damaged crops, houses, livestock and infrastructure valued at Rs 3,000 crore. Last year, the damage and destruction cost approximately Rs 5,000 crore. The breach in Kosi bundh in 2008 inflicted enormous damages, which were not assessed, nor properly compensated to this day.


In Bihar, rivers like Ganga, Kosi, Kamla, Bagmati, Balan, Mahanadi, Ghagra and Gandak etc get large amounts of rainwater in the upper reaches of Nepal, causing devastating floods and serious erosion of the river banks. These displace lakhs of people whose lands, houses, livestock and other valuable possessions are devoured by such natural calamities. As a result, provision of requisite relief measures for and rehabilitation of the displaced persons becomes an extremely serious issue every passing year. On the other hand, state and central government’s measures have been tardy and half-hearted, so much so that millions of rural people have to live in distress and poverty. The governments concerned have not taken adequate steps to consult the government of Nepal for control of floods in Bihar




Delegates from the flood-prone districts narrated their experiences and difficulties which they face during floods, particularly the criminal negligence by authorities in the matter of providing protection, relief and compensation. Kamleshwari Sahu and Ganesh Manav of Madhepura, Hriday Narayan Yadav of Saharsa, Shravan Yadav of Supaul, Ramlakhan Yadav of Madhubani, Dinesh Singh and Ratneshwar Thakur of Begusarai, Gangadhar Jha of Samastipur, Mantu Thakur of Darbhanga, Sagar Ali of Sitamarhi,Vijay Nath Tiwari of West Champaran, Nripendra Sahi and Basant Kumar of Muzaffarpur, Sultan Rahmani of Kusheswarsthan and others participated in discussion and enriched the resolution with their experiences and suggestions.


While addressing the delegates session, veteran leader of the democratic movement, Vijay Kant Thakur, stressed the need of regular desilting of riverbeds and of completing, repairing and strengthening the bundhs. He also demanded the formation of a commission of experts for permanent solution of floods in this region where major part of floodwater comes from Nepal. He said the main sufferers in these floods are the poorer sections. If we organise the movement on these issues, it will strengthen the class movement and would mobilise the wider sections of people, Thakur said.




While replying to the discussion on the Resolution on Flood, Erosion, Displacement and Resettlement, Avadhesh Kumar proposed the following programme of action:

a) Submission of memoranda to the district magistrates on June 5, 2012.

b) Demonstration before block offices on June 14.

c) Demonstration before the district magistrate offices on August 9.

d) District level conventions in all the flood-prone (affected) districts between June & August.


While the programme of action was adopted unanimously, the convention also decided to hold a Protest March in Patna, the state capital. The date of the march will be decided later.