Minister denies it was man-made flood; keeps mum on meagre Modi aid
Patna,(BiharTimes): As the shoddy manner in which the flood relief work has been undertaken came under strong criticism from various speakers at August 27 rally the defensive state government attributed the disaster to nature’s fury.
Water resources minister water resources minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh, alias as Lalan Singh, was upset over RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s speech in which he said: “Bihar mein baadh aaya nahin, baadh laya gaya. Nitish ke engineers baandh kaat ke baadh le aaya. (Flood did not come on its own, ut was brought in by Nitish’s engineers, who caused breach in the embankments.”
He and other speakers, such as Ghulam Nabi Azad of Congress and Sharad Yadav of JD(U) raised the issue of how the people of Bihar was neglected during the flood.
Lalu even appealed to the participants in the rally to go and help people in the relief work in this hour of crisis.
However, Lalan strongly denied that it was a man-made flood––a charge often levelled at engineers in Bihar. Even the Justice Walia Commission report, constituted by the Nitish Kumar government after 2008 delure in Kosi, had the same thing to say.
But Lalan attributed this year’s flood to the unprecedented 500-600 mm rainfall for three to four days in the highland of Nepal.
But he was not very convincing in his reply to the allegation repeatedly levelled by speakers––even Lalu––that whilethe then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave Rs 1,000 crore to Bihar and declared the 2008 flood as a “National Calamity” exactly nine years later Narendra Modi announced assistance of just Rs 500 crore and that too when the value of money has come dwon. Not only that this time the flood has affected much larger number of people in 20 districts, while in 2008 only half a dozen districts were hit.