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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Nitish Kumar assures preparedness to confront drought and floods in Bihar

ANI  Patna, August 04, 2013
First Published: 19:27 IST(4/8/2013) | Last Updated: 19:30 IST(4/8/2013)

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said that the overflowing Ganga river was not as much of a worry as the drought situation in some parts of the state.


Kumar also assured that the state government has taken all precautionary measures to combat the drought, and is carrying out rescue operations in flooded regions.

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After conducting an aerial inspection, Kumar said that both sides of the Ganga are flooded due to a heightened water level.

"Because of a rise in water-level in the Ganga river, both sides of the river are flooded. The situation is especially bad to the north of Patna and in the Bhojpur area.

Some areas are worse than others and we have conducted an aerial inspection of the whole area. We have also inspected the areas of drought. Rescue operations are on throughout and are functioning in full swing. Those involved in the rescue operations are working on all fronts and very hard," Kumar assured.

Kumar also said that the scanty rainfall in the beginning of the monsoon season posed huge challenges to the state, but the government was prepared to act on all fronts if the drought situation worsens.

"We are concerned about the drought situation. If, in the next few days, there isn't sufficient rainfall the situation will significantly worsen. However, we have taken necessary precautions as far as we can," Kumar said.

Kumar added that electricity distribution has been increased in rural areas and the government has subsidized diesel as part of its aid operations.

On Monday, the chief minister is expected to discuss the situation in remote areas by consulting district officials via video conference.

"I will consult with them and act on further relief operations accordingly. Any help and aid they need will be provided to them by the state government," Kumar said.

The simultaneous flood and drought situation is not an unusual phenomenon in Bihar.

The overflowing rivers have flooded the northern part of the state, while the southern region remains parched and drought-ridden.

According to the state government, 443 blocks out of a total of 534 have received less than 20% rainfall this year.


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