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Pranab assures Nitish more aid to fight Kosi floods

Finance Minister Pranab Mukhejee today assured Bihar of financial support to deal with the massive destruction caused by floods in the Kosi.



Patna: Finance Minister Pranab Mukhejee
today assured Bihar of financial support to deal with the
massive destruction caused by floods in the Kosi.

"I myself have visited that area (Kosi) and it requires
substantial amount which we have provided. As an when we are
in position to provide more support we shall do it," he said
after a 5-hour-long meeting with chief ministers of the 12
Eastern and Northeastern states and heads of public sector
banks here today.

The Centre had provided Rs 1,000 crore in 2008 to deal
with the situation emanating from massive floods caused by the
Kosi which is termed as the `sorrow of Bihar.` Every year the
Kosi river gets flooded and causes massive destruction of life
and properties.

Suggesting a solution to this problem, he said, "it
requires a comprehensive river management programme. We
require fullest cooperation of Nepal from where the river is
flowing into the state. "We are constantly in touch with them
(Nepal) and we are trying to evolve a mechanism for the Kosi
and other related rivers," Mukherjee said.

Asked about the demand for special state category status
to Bihar, Mukherjee said, "special category states are
determined by the Planning Commission. I cannot make any
comment." He, however, said, "I am fully aware that for quite
some time a special package for Bihar has been articulated
because of special problems of Bihar."

Each state has their own set of problems. But special
category of states have been identified up to now are 10, he
said. Out of those 10 states, 8 are from the Northeast plus
Himachal and Jammu & Kashmir, he added.

PTI

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