Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar hoisted the national flag here on Independence Day on Sunday and declared that the entire state was drought-hit as the over 30 percent rainfall deficit had severely affected the paddy crop.
Soon after unfurling the tricolour at the Gandhi Maidan here, Nitish Kumar declared 10 more districts as drought-hit and expressed serious concern for the millions hit by drought this year due to scanty rainfall in the state.
"In view of poor rainfall till date in August, we have decided to declare the remaining 10 districts as drought-hit. Now entire Bihar has been declared drought-hit," Nitish Kumar said, speaking in Hindi.
"My government is committed to providing adequate relief to people affected by the drought. Despite the drought, we will not allow anyone to die of hunger and starvation," he said.
The chief minister said he would seek help from the central government to tide over the crisis. Last week, Nitish Kumar had handed over a memorandum to the central government in New Delhi, seeking financial help of Rs 5,062 crore to tackle the drought.
Early this month, the state government declared 28 of its 38 districts drought-hit in view of the scanty rainfall.
The drought has affected hundreds of thousands of people for the second consecutive year.
Low rainfall so far has hit paddy sowing and transplantation in Gaya, Aurangabad, Jehanabad, Arwal, Nawada, Patna, Rohtas, Kaimur and Nalanda districts.
Over a dozen districts in Magadh and Patna divisions are the worst hit. Last year, the government had declared 26 districts drought-hit.
The shortage of rains has badly hit paddy sowing and transplantation in Gaya, Aurangabad, Jehanabad, Arwal, Nawada, Patna, Rohtas, Kaimur and Nalanda.
Nitish Kumar reiterated that he would make all efforts to make Bihar a developed state by providing education and healthcare facilities to all and improving road connectivity.