Amid noisy walkout by Samata party and CPI(ML) legislators, Bihar Water Resources Development Minister, Jagdanand Singh on Tuesday told the assembly that the government decided to hand over the task of collection of irrigation tax to cooperative societies.
Replying to a two-and-a-half-hour debate on the budgetary demand of the department totalling over Rs. 800.81 crore, Singh said for proper management of river waters aimed at irrigating the cultivable land, 10 river canals in Bihar were handed over to cooperative societies to collect water tax and oversee their maintenance.
The decision yielded positive result and the government was contemplating to hand over the management and maintenance work of small irrigation canals and tax collection job to cooperative societies, the minister said.
Under the new scheme, the cooperative societies would be given 70 per cent of the total collection for maintenance of the canals and the rest 30 per cent would have to be deposited with the water resources department, Singh said.
The minister said the government had created additional irrigation potential in 25000 hectares during the last financial year by spending Rs. 139 crore.
On the state's flood situation, Singh said due to heavy rains in their catchment ares in Nepal, the rivers inundated vast tract of lands in north Bihar.
Singh said the government had earmarked a sum of Rs. 19.58 crore for making the vast tract of land free from submerging.
The House later adopted the budgetary demand of the water resources department after rejecting the cut motion of Navin Kishor Prasad Sinha (BJP) and others by voice vote.