Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought an immediate financial assistance of over Rs 5000 crore from the Centre to tackle the drought situation in his state, where 28 districts have been declared as famine-hit.
After the meeting, Kumar told reporters that the Prime Minister assured him that a Central team will visit the state to assess the situation.
"Bihar is facing severe drought-like situation and due to scanty rain we had to declare 28 out of 38 districts as drought affected. Remaining 10 districts have also been kept under watch. If there is no rain during August we will have to declare these district also as drought affected," Kumar said.
The Bihar chief minister said that immediate financial assistance from the Centre is required to meet the situation in his state as "we have negative balance in state calamity relief fund".
The state government will need more funds to tackle the situation but that will be discussed with the Centre in second stage, he said
"Right from 2007, we have been suffering from natural calamities. In 2007, 22 districts were badly hit by flood affecting 25 million people. In 2008, we had to face Kosi tragedy. Thereafter in 2009, 26 out of 38 districts were hit by drought. This year, intensity (of drought) is much much more than the last year," he said.
Hoping that Centre will provide financial assistance to the Bihar, Kumar said that state government is tackling the situation with the resources available with it. "But, the centre should also fulfill its responsibility," he said.
He said funds are required to meet various requirements emerging due to drought situation in the state.