PATNA: Former Bihar Deputy CM of and leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav wrote a letter to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday urging him to seek an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a meeting with an all-party delegation from the state to apprise him about the damage caused to the state due to floods and excessive rain.
“The Central Government had given clearance to only one project Koshi-Mechi but it is unfortunate that no work has begun so far,” wrote the leader alleging that both the state and central governments failed to prevent the huge losses caused by floods.
“The floods in Bihar portray another familiar picture of the State’s vulnerability to recurrent flood and is a grim reminder of the extensive devastations destruction and disruption caused by floods. Crores of people are affected and crops worth billions of Rupees get damaged every year due to the floods in more than 20 districts of the state. Now, Bihar has a double-engine government and so many announcements were made, but no solutions have been found,” Yadav said.
He also suggested to the Chief Minister in the letter, “The rivers that flow perennially and overflow during rain, such as Koshi, Bagmati, Gandak, Budhi Gandak, Kamla Balan, Ghagra, Mahananda, should be linked with the rivers with the lesser flow of water.”
He named the districts that are worst affected by flood every year, which include Sitamadhi, Shivhar, Supaul, Kishanganj, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj, East Champaran, West Champaran, Khagaria, Saran, Samastipur, Siwan, Madhubani, Madhepura, Saharsa, Bhagalpur, Katihar, Vaishali and Patna. He further said that the Central and the State governments have merely announced various schemes for flood relief but no efforts have been made on the ground in this regard.
The leader reminded the Chief Minister of various projects that were announced during the NDA rule and unfortunately, these proposals were put in cold storage and nothing has happened on the ground.
“The Mechi river will be interlinked with the Koshi river. In 2011, various River Linking Projects were also announced to link the Kamla Balan, Mahananda, Ghagra, and other rivers of the state through canals and barrages but nothing has been done so far,” he stated.
“It is unfortunate that the work on linking the rivers is moving at snail pace and no work has been initiated in the 3 years of the only project that has been given the clearance” alleged Tejashwi.
He accused the Central Government of not providing sufficient funds for flood relief in Bihar whereas the states that are less affected by the flood are allotted more funds. He referred to the ‘Double-Engine Government’ and alleged that no special package has been announced for Bihar.
In the letter, Tejashwi also urged the Chief Minister to demand from the Central Government to declare all the projects of interlinking of rivers, construction of dams and canals as ‘National Plan
The RJD leader said, “under your leadership, an all-party delegation from the state should meet the Prime Minister on this issue and request him to speed up the river-linking projects of Bihar, for the welfare of the State,” concluded Tejashwi.