Floods happen regularly in Bihar in the eastern part of India, affecting over 20 million people spread across 20 districts of Bihar. The population here has learnt to live with normal floods, but when they are untimely and unexpected, when the water is far in excess of the normal rainfall, when it rains incessantly for more than 15 days, then the people are not able to cope. The construction of roads and railway tracks prevents the floodwaters from flowing directly to the river and then into the sea. This causes great additional suffering to the afflicted rural population. The failure of relief material to reach the state this year has exacerbated the situation. Relief operations by civil society were very late in starting.