PATNA: Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday urged CM Nitish Kumar to promote vehicles with alternative fuel such as ethanol in Bihar and also make farmers aware about the benefits of producing ethanol.
Nitish met the Union minister for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation at Delhi on Wednesday. Nitish also had a meeting with Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday. Sources said Nitish apprised Jaitley about the state’s expectations from general budget and requested allocation of appropriate funds for central projects in Bihar.
The Bihar CM requested Gadkari to provide the required support for timely completion of irrigation schemes in Bihar. They discussed several irrigation projects like Durgawati reservoir, Punpun canal, Kosi project, West Gandak canal project and Bateshwar Sthan canal project, among others. State water resources minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh also apprised Gadkari about unavailability of central funds for water resources schemes in Bihar.
Nitish later asked officials present in the meeting to submit a detailed memorandum to the Union water resources ministry. He requested Gadkari to hold a review meeting on the memorandum to be submitted by the state to expedite the progress in different projects.
Nitish also drew Gadkari’s attention towards recurrent floods in the state. “Around Rs4,000-5,000 crore is spent every year on providing relief to flood-affected people in Bihar,” Nitish said and urged the Union minister to hold talks with Nepal government to seek the required assistance in this regard. He also urged Gadkari to resolve issues related to silt in the rivers to prevent recurrent floods in Bihar and neighbouring states.
Gadkari agreed to most of the issues raised by Nitish and assured him of providing all possible support with scientific solution to the problems related to water resources.
Gadkari and Nitish also saw the demonstration of ethanol-based motorcycle and autorickshaw and zero-emission e-rickshaw. Nitish said the issue of pollution could be addressed to a large extent only through alternative fuel such as ethanol, which could be easily produced from molasses and biomass.
Nitish also reiterated his support for simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections but added it was not possible with immediate effect. “It will take some time to make the required constitutional provisions for simultaneous elections. Hence, it is unlikely to be held in the near future,” Nitish said.