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Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi Tuesday and pitched for a national silt management policy as a permanent solution to the flood problem, which has killed 22 people so far. He also urged the Prime Minister to to send a team of experts to assess the “unprecedented” situation and the latter agreed, Nitish told journalists.
Nitish demanded removal of Farakka barrage in West Bengal, which he said was behind the increasing silt in the Ganga. He said the benefits from the Farakka barrage are far less than the damage that is happening due to it. It is due to the barrage that the level in various rivers of Bihar have gone above previous records despite rainfall having been 14 per cent below normal, he said.
Nitish, who met Home Minister Rajnath Singh separately, told journalists he feels like “crying” when he sees the condition of the Ganga in Bihar. He suggested that the government’s Namami Gange project focus on better silt management.
“The only way to get rid of this problem is desilting. There is a need for national silt management policy,” Nitish said. “The Prime Minister assured me that experts will be sent to Bihar.”