Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek his help in starting desilting work at the Ganga, which has been flowing above the danger mark and adding to the flood situation in the state. Kumar said a team of experts appointed by the Centre should be sent to the review the silt deposits in the river, and asked that a “Silt Management Policy” be written up, IANS reported.
Kumar said, “If we don’t realise the importance of desilting the Ganga now, then the conditions would become worse in the coming years as its water will spread in more new areas.” He also asked that the Farakka barrage in neighbouring West Bengal be removed, claiming it was causing water levels to rise alarmingly in his state.
Thousands of people have been affected by the floods in the state, with 95 people being killed so far, he said. Heavy rainfall in Nepal, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand has caused rivers passing through Bihar to swell, PTI reported. Kumar added that Modi has promised to help.
Earlier in the day, schools in Uttar Pradesh were shut down after the flood situation worsened. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Monday promised support and aid from the Centre to five states – UP, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh – that have been facing deluge-like conditions.