Meagre Rs 500 cr when State, Centre have NDA govts; Rs 1,000 cr in 2008
Patna,(BiharTimes): After making a brief aerial survey of four districts of Seemanchal and holding a meeting in Purnea Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an immediate relief of Rs 500 crore.
Nine years back when the Kosi region was devastated by a deluge the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on August 28, 2008 undertook an aerial survey and announced an immediate relief of Rs 1,000 crores, besides, 1.25 lakh tonnes of foodgrains. He also declared the flood a natural calamity.
Nitish Kumar, who was then too the chief minister of the state, had expressed his displeasure. But this time he had not opened his mouth yet though Rs 500 crore is much meagre an amount. Not only that in nine years the value of rupees has further depreciated.
No doubt 2008 man-made disaster caused huge loss of life and property in at least seven districts of Bihar through which Kosi water flowed.
This time the flooding was caused by widespread rain all over the Himalayan region. Though the PM chose to visit just four districts, the truth is that as high as 20 districts have been badly affected. The flood is not confined to Seemanchal, but to Mithilanchal, Tirhut and Champaran regions too.
Incidentally, Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh comes from Champaran belt but he was nowhere in the scene. Only chief minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi accompanied the PM.
The meager amount announced by PM had become a subject of ridicule in the media, both social and mainstream.
A Bihar watcher commented on a regional electronic channel that Rs 500 crore would be required for just building roads in one district. The state government was expecting Rs 10,000 crore.
RJD spokesman Manoj Jha was of the view that it was an insult to the people of Bihar.
Nitish’s silence on the issue is also being questioned.
“Will Nitish return Rs 500 crore as he returned Rs five crore to the Gujarat government in 2010. Curiously, no state government is daring to donate to Bihar for flood relief this time,” commented a wag.
The bottom line is: After all both Bihar and Centre have government of same alliance. “Ab khub vikas hoga.”