Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday appealed to the Centre to come up with a policy to tackle siltation in the Ganga, which he said had made the river shallow and burst its bank. Kumar expressed his concern as the state deals with a flood-like situation in places located along the banks of the river, PTI reported.
The Janata Dal United leader said, "The central government should consider it [prepare a policy on silt management] after taking stock of the situation…otherwise it could prove to be a terrible situation in years to come." He also claimed to have brought up the matter during Manmohan Singh's term as prime minister as well as with Narendra Modi.
Moreover, Kumar blamed the deposition of silt in the Ganga on the "slow discharge of water" from the Farakka Dam in West Bengal. "The only way to remove silt from the river is to remove the Farakka Dam...If the Centre has any other option [other than to remove the dam], it should start working on silt removal from the river bed," he said, according to The Times of India.
The 12 districts of Patna, Vaishali, Buxar, Bhojpur, Saran, Begusarai, Samastipur, Lakhisarai, Khagaria, Munger, Bhagalpur and Katihar are facing a flood-like situation, a statement from the Disaster Management Department said. The rivers Sone, Punpun Sripalpur, Ghaghra, Gandak, Kosi, Kursela and Burhi Gandak were also flowing above the danger mark. As many as 82 relief camps are sheltering around 15,000 people evacuated from affected areas.
The National Disaster Response Force personnel have been deployed to help with rescue operations, and the Indian Army is on alert, Kumar said, adding that preparations had been made to airlift people if required. "We want to assure the people that we are alert. People should not get panicky and should tackle the situation bravely," the chief minister said.