Nitish meets PM, seeks Rs 12000 cr as drought relief

10:02 AM, Saturday, September 21st, 2013

MAN,natishNew Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar yesterday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here and sought Rs 12,000 crore in central help to tackle drought situation in the state.
Bihar has declared 33 districts out of 38 as drought affected in the state.

“We met the PM and apprised him of the prevailing drought situation in the state,” Kumar said after the meeting here.

He said that monsoon has been 37 per cent deficient in the state which has affected the crops badly.

“We have submitted a letter to the PM where we have drawn his attention to these problems facing the state. We have sought Rs 12,000 crore as additional fund as per the initial estimate for tackling the drought,” Kumar said.

Asked about Singh’s response, Kumar said, “He (PM) said that the Centre understands its role in the time of natural calamity. Centre is aware of its responsibility and will do its duty in such a situation.”

A central team is expected to visit the state in October to assess the situation.

He said, “For drought relief we want extra funds and that is why we approached the PM for financial help.

We have submitted the rough estimate and later on detailed estimates will also be submitted.”

As fas ar as disaster relief fund is concerned, Kumar said, “The majority of the funds meant for the disaster relief in the state is being used in the flood relief measures because 20 districts were also affected due to the floods.

Relief work is going on in flood affected areas.”

Kumar, who is here on a two-day visit, has also met the Finance Minister and the Agriculture Minister over the Bihar situation.

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