PATNA: Renewing demands for the decommissioning of the Farakka barrage in West Bengal, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said he had raised the same issue with the previous UPA central government of Manmohan Singh to ease flood situation in Bihar.
“The Farakka barrage has been demonstrably useless as it causes relentless deposit of silt in the Ganga river and hampers the flow of the mighty river. We demand that the Centre decommission this barrage as early as possible,” said Kumar at the end of his ‘Lok Samvad’ (public dialogue) programme.
Kumar also voiced his strong protest against plans to build reservoirs at Buxar in Bihar and some sites in Uttar Pradesh on the Ganga river. “These projects would further worsen the annual scourge of floods in many districts of Bihar,” said Kumar.
Kumar added that when Pawan Bansal was the Union water resources minister in the Centre’s previous UPA government, the state had taken the minister on an aerial survey of the barrage to show him how it was responsible for floods in Bihar and parts of Bengal, too.
Bihar water resources minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lalllan had raised the issue on Saturday, saying the State government would continue demanding the decommissioning of Farakka barrage.
“I believe there are similar demands by the affected people of Bengal. We in Bihar are affected the most adversely,” Nitish said.
“The central government is doing so much for keeping the Ganga clean. Cleanliness of the Ganga will be possible only when the unhampered flow of its water is ensured,” he said.