Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitesh Kumar has stated that the ambitious National Waterway 1 project is in danger of failing should the siltation situation of the rivers of Bihar go unchecked. Depth of the Ganga’s entire length that runs through Bihar (445 KM) has been decreasing year on year, said the Chief Minister. Silt or particles suspended in the waters are reducing the rivers ability to drain water, leading to flood like conditions, across the State he added.
Speaking at the recently concluded two-day “East India Climate Change Conclave 2018” in Patna, the Minister highlighted his quest to address the situation. The Minister said, “I have been raising the issue for the past ten years.” The Bihar government has conducted two conclaves; one at Patna and Delhi, which hosted technical papers corroborating the requirement to de-silt the Bihar leg of the Ganges.
In 2017, the Bihar floods claimed 500 plus lives along with causing damages worth Rs. 5,000 crores. According to the Minister, the construction of several dams on the river Ganga, especially the Farakka Barrage, has caused hurdles for the river’s natural flow.