The massive water logging in Patna and flood in over a dozen districts across Bihar, after continuous heavy rains for three days, has forced the state government to defer the much hyped launch of its ambitious “Jal Jeevan Haryali Abhiyan” on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

All the programmes to mark the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, including the cultural programme, have been cancelled, officials said today.

The Education Department has deferred functions in schools on October 2 in view of the floods. As per the earlier notification, all schools were ordered to remain open on October 2 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Principal secretary, Rural Development Department, Arvind Choudhary said that Jal Jeevan Haryali Abhiyan was deferred due to the situation arising after the heavy rainfall.

The campaign was a brainchild of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who advocates for the protection of environment. The state cabinet last week approved Rs 24,524 crore for the campaign to be implemented over the next three years. However, the heavy rains and the following deluge has gravely affected the government plans.

Due to the flooding, the schools have been closed till today, exams have been also been postponed and even date of official and private functions have been extended.

In the water logged residential localities in Patna, relief and rescue operations were speeded up today with two helicopters engaged in dropping food, water and other essential items. The boats carrying essential items were also reaching the stranded people.

The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Urban Development Department have pressed in high tech machines to pump out water from the water logged localities. However, PMC was facing difficulty to pump out water as many drains were choked and some permanently clogged due to silt.

“All pump stations are running at their optimum capacity to dewater the affected areas in view of the on going Durga Puja festival. The situation is likely to be normal within next 24 hours,” Chaitanya Prasad, Principal secretary of the Urban Development department said.

Much to the relief of people, there has been no rain in the last over 24 hours. The weather department has predicted no heavy rains and clear sky with sun shine. According to the local weather department officials, Patna has recorded 346 mm rains in four days. Trains have started running, life is returning to roads, particularly on the national highways.

On Monday the Centre dispatched 20 teams of the NDRF and pressed into service Indian Air Force helicopters to help flood-hit people in Bihar, officials said on the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba this morning reviewed the flood situation in Bihar, where 16 districts have been affected by the deluge.