Patna: Expressing concern over poor condition of the Ganga river, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said a clean Ganga would not be possible unless its flow is uninterrupted.
In his Independence Day address at the Gandhi Maidan where Kumar unfurled the tricolour, he said the depth of the Ganga had reduced following silt deposition in the river due to construction of the dam at Farakka.”I always raise the issue before the Prime Minister in every meeting of Ganga River Basin Authority,” Mr Kumar said.
Stating that the poor condition of river Ganga makes him cry, Mr Kumar reminisced his college and childhood days and said, “I was born at Bakhtiarpur in Patna district. We used to go to take bath in the Ganga. There was wonderful flow with clean water then. We used to take a bucket of water to home for drinking purposes.”
Mr Kumar asserted that he had been raising the issue of maintaining the uninterrupted flow of the Ganga without which it would be difficult to maintain a clean river. Due to siltation in the river, water spreads to the adjoining areas in the event of a little increase in its water level, he said.
Unless and until the issue of silt management was dealt with at the national level, Ganga’s uninterrupted flow cannot be established, Mr Kumar said, adding that “We cannot make it clean without ensuring its adequate flow.”
Mr Kumar said there were 16 districts in Bihar which have received less than normal rainfall so far, but several districts have been affected by floods.
Stating that most districts of Bihar were flood affected, Mr Kumar said 37 lakh people have been affected in various districts in the current spate of floods, which was caused by heavy rainfall in Nepal. He said Rs. 133 crore have been given to carry out relief work in the affected districts.