Stormy start to Bihar assembly session


Patna : A week-long monsoon session of the Bihar assembly began Thursday on a stormy note over the unprecedented waterlogging in the state capital for nearly two weeks.

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The opposition members staged a protest at the main gate of the state assembly against the failure of the Nitish Kumar government to drain out water from many neighbourhoods.

They shouted slogans against administrative apathy to resolve the problem of waterlogging here.

The opposition lawmakers say they will raise the issues of waterlogging, deteriorating law and order and a month-long strike non-teaching staff of universities during the session.

The opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has decided to move an adjournment motion to protest the “deteriorating law and order situation, misappropriation of government fund and failure of the state government” in clearing waterlogging during the session that will continue till July 30.

“Nitish Kumar had promised in the last two monsoon seasons that waterlogging in the state capital would be history. But the pathetic situation shows that nothing has changed and people were forced to live with water all around,” legislator Abdul Bari Siddiqui, who is state RJD president, said in the the assembly premises after the session was adjourned till Friday.

Due to incessant rainfall many houses in low lying areas are still flooded. Most of the roads in several areas here are under two to three feet of water.

At some neighbourhoods like Kankarbagh and Rajendra Nagar, the water is over four feet deep. Waterlogging has affected over a dozen residential localities including Boring Road, Khaitan Market, Bahadurpur, Patel Nagar and Kadam Kuan.

The situation may worsen as Meteorological office director T.N. Jha Wednesday predicted more rain.

Faced with a hue and cry over waterlogging, the government announced a few days ago the preparation of an action plan to find a permanent solution to the problem.

Senior RJD legislator Shakeel Ahmad Khan said that the opposition will raise issues affecting common people like waterlogging and deteriorating law and order situation in the state.

The Nitish Kumar government will present the first supplementary budget for fiscal 2008-09 in the assembly July 28. Besides, the government will place a number of important bills for discussion.