Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday expressed grave concern over receding water flow in river Ganga and highlighted the growing silt deposit due to Farakka barrage causing floods in the state every year.
Kumar also raised concern over proposed construction of reservoir at Buxar and some others in Uttar Pradesh enroute Allahabad-Haldia National waterway.
He was speaking after inaugurating an International Seminar on Ganga here.
The two-day seminar organised by state’s Water Resources department titled “Incessant Ganga” is attended by a host of people working for environment and water management in the country and also abroad.
They include Magsaysay award winner “Waterman” Rajendra Singh, Environmentalist and Chipko Movement leader Vandana Shiva, environmentalist Chandi Prasad Bhat, Punjab’s environmentalist Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, economists Bharat Junjhunwala and Jayant Bandopadhyay.
Some experts from Germany, Nepal and Bangladesh are also participating in the seminar.
Kumar highlighted the problems due Farakka barrage which is causing floods in Bihar every year due to heavy silt deposits.
Kumar has in the past demanded decommission of Farakka barrage which he said has little utility and responsible for flood in Bihar annually.
He, however, made it clear that the present seminar was not meant to push the demand for decommission of Farakka Dam.
“This seminar is not meant to push demand for decommission of Farakka barrage but to discuss in length how to remove impediments in Ganga to ensure incessant flow of water,” Kumar said.
Kumar, who is also JD(U) National President, also raised the issue of proposed construction of barrage at Buxar and some others in UP as part of development of Inland Waterways from Allahabad to Haldia in West Bengal and reiterated that the state would not allow any such construction.
In an oblique dig at rival BJP leaders who citing some “unauthenticated” papers of Inland Waterways Authority to say that there is no proposal to construct any barrage between Varanasi to Farakka, he asked “do they mean to say that barrage would be built in between Allahabad to Varanasi?”
Kumar said he has read statement of Union Surface Transport minister Nitin Gadkari on proposed barrage at Buxar and on some locations in UP as part of Inland Waterway I.
“These (BJP leaders) are quoting a senior official of the Waterways Authority who is spreading confusion through false assertions,” he added. PTI
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