Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday questioned the Centre’s “attitude” in providing “timely assistance” for the damage caused by flood in the state this year, for “delaying the arrival” of the Central team. He raised the issue through a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and urged for an “early visit” of the Central team to the state.
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The chief minister said the state had sent a detailed report to the Centre seeking Rs 4,111.98 crore for flood assistance this year after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Singh on August 23.
Subsequently, he added that the officials of the state were in “regular touch” with the Centre.
Union Home Ministry officials informed the state before Diwali about the postponement of the visit of the assessment team to November 10-11 and accordingly, all preparations were made for it, Kumar said.
But yesterday, a letter from the Joint Secretary of the Home Ministry informed about “putting off” the visit due to a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee and the commencement of the Winter Session of Parliament from November 16.
The Central team has now proposed to visit during the month-end, he added.
“You will agree that the assessment of damage due to flood should be held within a fixed time-frame. The fact is that the assessment work was to take place in September itself. Farmers in the flood-ravaged areas have started sowing the rabi and kharif crops and have also begun repairing the damaged private houses.
“In such a condition, the Central team would face a practical problem in its assessment of the damage caused by the flood when they visit at the end of November,” he said.
“The delay by the Central team to visit Bihar for the assessment of the damage due to flood puts a question mark on the attitude of the Centre to provide timely assistance. The visit of the Central team after two months of the flood is illogical,” he added.
Kumar urged Singh to send the Central team “at the earliest”, considering the “seriousness and sensitivity” of the situation for providing assistance to the flood-affected citizens.