Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nitish meets PC on Naxalism, drought package

PATNA: Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday met Union home minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi and discussed issues related to internal

security, Naxalism and the drought situation in the state.

Nitish supported the Union government led joint inter-state operations against the extremists. He insisted on effective patrolling of Indo-Nepal border by the BSF and early construction of border roads.

Since the Union home minister is also a member of the empowered group of ministers and the home ministry deals with disaster management and National Calamity Contingency Fund, Nitish apprised Chidamabaram of the severe drought situation in Bihar affecting 1.26 crore families in 26 districts in the state.

He said that there was a shortfall of 57.7 per cent in paddy crop coverage and 27.4 per cent in maize. He also apprised the Union home minister of the memorandum submitted to the Union agriculture ministry by the state government seeking financial assistance of Rs 23,071 crore to tackle drought. Chidambaram expressed deep sympathy for the drought-affected people and assured full cooperation of the Centre to the state government in dealing with the situation.

He said that an inter-ministerial team for the state had already been notified and sent to have an assessment of the field situation. Quick action will be taken on the report submitted by the team, he promised.

The CM also reminded the home minister about the pending issue of Kosi rehabilitation and reconstruction proposal of Rs 14,808.59 crore. He insisted that special Central assistance for this be immediately sanctioned on the pattern of tsunami reconstruction package of Rs 9,822 crore. Chidambaram assured to look into the matter.

Nitish also pressed for early settlement of pending dues on account of pensions due from Jharkhand government amounting to Rs 2,399 crore as on March 31, 2007, as per Bihar Reorganization Act, 2000

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