Nitish refers to special state status for Bihar



Patna: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday referred to his demand that the Centre give special state status to Bihar at the Global Bihar Summit 2012 and said that the path to make it a developed state looked difficult.

"I want to score a point that the central government should not give any financial package to Bihar. What we need is that the Centre accord a special state status. It will pave the way for further development and investments.

"We have changed the image of Bihar during the past six years of rule. A lot of work has been done, but a lot more is required to be done. But the path of development looks difficult in future and we need cooperation from all, "Kumar said.

He said that the Planning Commission, whose deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia was present, had always cooperated with the state.

"People in Planning Commission show interest in Bihar and I anticipate they will continue to help Bihar," the chief minister said.

Speaking after the inauguration of the summit by Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, he suggested that the state and Nepal should develop a joint system to avoid the damages caused by recurring floods in Bihar.

"Bihar has always laid stress on a joint flood prevention system," he said.

Referring to the Indian Ambassador in Nepal Jayant Prasad, Kumar said "the representative of the central government is sitting here and it is possible that the initiatives for tackling flood-related problems will be taken forward."

Referring to Bihar's high rate of GDP, Kumar said "we don't consider GDP as the key indicator of development. We want human development as socio-economic development and progress in education is the real indicator of development.

"We have developed our own model to ensure development with justice," he said dwelling on improvement in healthcare system and enrolment in schools and colleges.

Referring to the agriculture roadmap being finalised in Bihar for boosting agriculture production and productivity, he clarified that the summit had been organised not to mobilise investments, but to elicit suggestions and guidelines for the state's progress.

"I have a dream that people from even a remote place in Kishanganj, Kaimur and West Champaran can reach the state capital within less then six hours. I think we will realise the dream by ensuring better road connectivity between remote areas and the state capital.

PTI