Bihar's water resources minister Sanjay Kumar Jha on Friday blamed the treaty with Bangladesh for sharing the Ganga waters and the "faulty design" of the Farakka barrage for floods in the state in the monsoon season and drought-like situation for the rest of the year.
The Farakka barrage has often been criticized for floods in Bihar due to excessive siltation in the Ganga. On Friday, Jha also put it in his line of fire.
"Faulty design of the Farakka barrage has led to a heavy deposit of silt in the Ganga in the upstream up to Buxar. This leads to flooding of the entire plain along the river's course during the rains. Post-monsoon, Bihar rivers have to supplement the quantum of flow in the Ganga to provide 1400 cusec of water... the original flow in the river gets reduced to just 400 cusecs as it enters the state," Jha said at a seminar.
He cited chief minister Nitish Kumar's pre-poll pledge to take water to every farm in the next five years and added that Bihar would be the next state after Punjab and Haryana to reap the benefits of a Green Revolution. "...the state government is working on ambitious projects like Jal-Jeevan-Haryali and Har Khet Ko Pani for sustainable development of rural economy...," said Jha. He added that the groundwork to provide the water to every farm would start in April.
Jha said a detailed survey for this had started on January 18 across Bihar. "So far, 58% of rural areas have been surveyed and 12,188 schemes have been finalised...after technical feasibility reports. However, a comprehensive strategy over the way to irrigate the farms would be decided later..."