Published On: Tue, Feb 21st, 2017

Bihar against check dams on Ganga

PATNA: Reiterating his demand for decommissioning the Farakka barrage, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Monday said the state government would vehemently oppose any attempt to disturb the uninterrupted flow of Ganga.

Opposing the Centre’s move to construct small check dams in the river’s upper stream above Buxar to facilitate commercial navigation of vessels from Haldia to Allahabad, Nitish said, “We are ‘dead against’ converting the Ganga into small reservoirs by constructing check dams to store adequate water for facilitating navigation of big vessels.”

Talking to newsmen after his weekly ‘Lok Samvad’ programme, the CM asserted the Farakka barrage has no utility. “The barrage in fact has been causing devastating floods in Bihar and West Bengal, almost every year. I raised the demand even before ex-PM Manmohan Singh during the UPA regime. I have also informed PM Narendra Modi about it and sought a solution to recurring floods in Bihar,” the CM said.

“Several experts have also pointed out the disadvantages of Farakka barrage. One of the West Bengal engineers involved in planning of the barrage, was forced to quit because he also opposed it,” Nitish said, to buttress his claim.

Nitish said he has requested PM Modi to decommission the barrage or formulate a silt management policy. “The floods in Bihar’s 12 districts last year was due to the silt deposited in the Ganga as a result of the Farakka dam construction,” he said.

Nitish said the state’s water resources department has convened a two-day workshop in Patna on February 25-26, at which experts would deliberate on the causes of floods and disadvantages of Farakka. “We hope the Centre will heed our arguments and save Bihar from annual floods,” he said.

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