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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Will send memorandum to Centre for financial assistance, says Nitish Kumar

On Friday, chief minister Nitish Kumar announced this in the state assembly, while stating that the state government was carrying on the rescue and relief operations from its own resources so far.

patna Updated: Jul 27, 2019 01:34 IST
Anirban Guha Roy
Anirban Guha Roy
Hindustan Times, Patna
The chief minister’s statement on the flood relief operations came in response to opposition RJD’s claims that the floods situation was worsening in few parts of the state, especially in north Bihar, due to heavy rains in Nepal.
The chief minister’s statement on the flood relief operations came in response to opposition RJD’s claims that the floods situation was worsening in few parts of the state, especially in north Bihar, due to heavy rains in Nepal.(HT Photo)
         

The Bihar government will soon send a memorandum to the central government, seeking financial assistance for flood relief and request a visit by a central team to assess the extent of damages.

On Friday, chief minister Nitish Kumar announced this in the state assembly, while stating that the state government was carrying on the rescue and relief operations from its own resources so far.

The chief minister’s statement on the flood relief operations came in response to opposition RJD’s claims that the floods situation was worsening in few parts of the state, especially in north Bihar, due to heavy rains in Nepal. The floods in the state have so far caused 123 deaths and affected 81.58 lakh people spread across 12 districts.

Senior RJD Abdul Bari Siddiqui questioned as to why the centre Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not taken cognizance of the flood and drought situation in Bihar so far, implying that BJP- led NDA government at the centre should have been more proactive in giving central assistance to Bihar.

 The RJD members also raised slogans, demanding a central package for flood-hit areas. A few days back, the leader of the opposition had demanded that the centre should declare floods in Bihar as a natural calamity and sought a special package of Rs 10,000 crore.

The CM emphasised that the state government had been prompt in tackling floods in the state and spoke about how he himself conducted aerial surveys in the affected areas and instructed senior bureaucrats to ensure that relief material could reach marooned people in the remotest part of the flood-hit areas.

During his speech, the chief minister gave the impression that the state had always prioritised relief operations. In 2017,  38 lakh families were covered, with each family getting Rs 6,000 as gratuitous relief (GR) from the state exchequer. “The state government spent Rs 2,400 crore in GR for 38 lakh families,” he said.

  In 2016, the state government had send a memorandum seeking Rs 4,112 crore. In 2017, the state had send a memorandum seeking assistance worth Rs 8,500 crore, but received much less, officials said.

However, the CM mentioned how the centre had helped Bihar during deluges in past one decade, pointing out that after the 2008 Kosi floods, an NDRF centre was opened in Bihar, while helicopters were made available to airdrop food packets. He also said that community kitchens and relief camps had been opened in all flood-hit areas to provide food and all measures to tackle the deluge was being done as per the standard operating procedure (SOP) prepared by the disaster management department.

“The flood season in Bihar is not over yet as the state experiences deluges in August and September. We are prepared to tackle any exigency,” Kumar said.

First Published: Jul 27, 2019 01:23 IST

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