Nitish seeks Prez`s `blessings` for special status to Bihar

Rallying support for special category status to Bihar, CM Nitish Kumar sought the "blessings" of President Pranab Mukherjee in this regard.

Patna: Rallying support for special category status to Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Wednesday sought the "blessings" of President Pranab Mukherjee in this regard.

"Bihar requires special status in its endeavor to become a developed state.... I seek your (President`s) blessings for it," he said at a function held to unveil the state`s agriculture roadmap for the next five years by Mukherjee.

Kumar had last month launched his `Adhikar Yatra` to create pressure on the Centre to accord the special status to the state.

Kumar apprised the president of the benefits of the agriculture road map, formulated in 2008-1012, and said the seeds replacement rate has gone up by 35 per cent to boost the productivity of foodgrains, including paddy.

Kumar thanked Mukherjee for keeping his promise to visit Bihar after being elected to the highest post and urged him to visit the state at regular intervals.

Seeking to establish a emotional chord, he said the people of Bihar have strong emotional ties with those of West Bengal, from where Mukherjee hails, and share similar socio-economic and cultural values.

Kumar said buoyed by the success of the first agriculture road map, Bihar government framed a second road map for the next five years proposing to invest Rs 1.5 lakh crore for broadbased development of agriculture and allied sectors.

Besides boosting cultivation of various foodgrains, the state government has proposed to encourage increase in production of fish, eggs and dairy products to generate income of the farmers under the proposal to usher in `Rainbow Revolution` in Bihar, he said.

With 75 per cent of Bihar`s population dependent on agriculture and allied sector for livelihood, it is imperative to improve their quality of life by ensuring increase in their regular income, the chief minister said.

Under the agriculture roadmap, it has been proposed to use 30 per cent of the farm produce in food processing units, besides augmenting storage capacity of foodgrains at 65 lakh tonnes, he said.

Facilities like cold storage, marketing chain and construction of pucca roads in habitats with population of 250 persons will be other components of the agriculture road map, Kumar said adding that the construction of a dedicated electricity feeder and increase in irrigation capacity will also be put in place in due course.

The state government has also enacted a legislation for survey and updation of land recordings, he said.


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