Bihar made a strong pitch for Rs 14, 800 crore-special package for the reconstruction of Kosi area, ravaged by floods last year, and rehabilitation of the affected people.
Reacting to Centre’s decision to give Rs 7,266-crore package for Bundelkhand to fight drought situation there, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the Union government should provide a special package of Rs 14,800 crore to Bihar also for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Kosi area.
While welcoming the announcement on Bundelkhand, Kumar said a similar demand from Bihar was pending with the Centre. “It’s more than a year when the state govrnment had placed its demand, but the Centre is yet to provide us a single penny. We demand that the Centre meets our request immediately,” he told reporters on his return from Motihari after inaugurating Jatwa Bridge over Burhi Gandak.
The Chief Minister said a task force, headed by S C Jha, had recommended special package for Kosi area. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also assured financial assistance to the State after making an aerial survey of the flood-hit districts. “But we are yet to receive any communication in this regard,” he added.
Addressing a function at Katihar, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi blamed the Centre for “step motherly” treatment to Bihar. “The Centre has deprived the State of the special package required for tackling the flood and drought situation. The Prime Minister had declared the Kosi devastation as a national calamity, but he has maintained silence over the State’s demand for special package after giving Rs 1,000 crore against the demand of Rs 14,800 crore,” Modi said.
“This year, the State government submitted a memorandum to the Centre seeking a package of Rs 23,000 crore to tackle the drought problem, but the Centre has failed to allocate a single penny on this count,” he charged. Alleging that the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre was discriminating against the State, Modi said its decision not to help Bihar in its critical hour reflected “malafide in intentions.”
Bihar was not against the Rs 7266-crore central package for Bundelkhand, “but it is highly unjust and condemnable if the Centre is overlooking Bihar’s genuine call for assistance,” he added.