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JD-U MP demands removal of Bihar water resources minister

IANS  Patna, August 03, 2009
First Published: 16:27 IST(3/8/2009) | Last Updated: 16:28 IST(3/8/2009)

An MP of Bihar's ruling Janata Dal (United) on Monday demanded removal of state Water Resources Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav following a breach in the embankment of Bagmati river in Sitamarhi district which inundated nearly 200 villages and affected over 200,00 people.

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"The state water resources minister must be removed for his failure to protect the newly constructed embankment and the breach in it that badly put thousands of people in distress," Ejaz Ali, a Rajya Sabha MP of the party, said.

Ali demanded Chief Minister Nitish Kumar remove or replace Yadav. "Nitish Kumar should replace Yadav with some one capable and honest like him to handle the water resources department," he said.

The swollen Bagmati Saturday breached an over 100-feet stretch of the embankment at Tilaktajpur under Runnisaidpur block in Sitamarhi, inundating several villages and affecting over 200,000 people. More villages are likely to be flooded, a district official said.

The political blame game has begun with the opposition Sunday holding the chief minister responsible.

Till Friday, the district administration and engineers had claimed that there was no threat to the embankment from the rising water level in the Bagmati river. According to official sources, the embankment was repaired and strengthened last year.

However, villagers claim they had informed officials about a six-inch wide hole in the embankment, but no move was initiated to repair it. The chief minister has ordered a probe and promised stern action against erring officials.


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