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Bihar Water Resources Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh today said the state government would make Farakka barrage, which is responsible for siltation in river Ganga to cause floods in Bihar, a national issue. Replying to debate on his Department's budgetary demand of Rs 3814.06 crore for 2017-18 in the Legislative Council, Singh said the government would organise a seminar in Delhi on the issue where it would invite leading water experts from across the globe to deliberate and discuss the issue. He said that the state government would make it an issue of both at the state and national level. In order to drive home his point, the minister said the river Ganga's water takes 20-22 hours to travel 170 km of stretch between Bhagalpur and Farakka while it takes merely 2-3 hours to travel 110 km of stretch between Buxar and Bhagalpur. This clearly shows that 'High Flood Level' (HFL) has increased many times in river Ganga, the minister said. Talking about his department's programmes, Singh said that both Ganga Flood Control Commission (GFCC) and Central Water Commission (CWC) have been putting spanner in the works of the state government's projects, despite the fact that both the Central government agencies' offices have been set up in Patna to facilitate and help the state government. The minister said that additional irrigation capacity would be created over 7.26 lakh hectares of land in two financial years of 2016-17 and 2017-18. The budgetary allocation of Rs 3814.06 crore for 2017-18 was later passed by the upper House by a voice vote after the opposition members staged walk out from the house expressing dissatisfaction with the Minister's speech. Prominent among those who participated in the debate included- Radha Charan Sah, Krishna Kumar Singh, Niraj Kumar, Dilip Choudhary. The state Legislative Assembly had passed the WRD's budgetary demand on March 7, 2017.
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