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PM lauds Nitish Kumar for efforts to ensure safe drinking water supply in Bihar villages


New Delhi, Sep 10: Setting the tone for electioneering for the upcoming Bihar assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday lauded Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's good work to ensure safe drinking water supply in villages and said 75 lakh farmers in the state have been handed out Rs 6,000 crore cash under the PM-Kisan scheme.

PM lauds Nitish Kumar for efforts to ensure safe drinking water supply in Bihar villages

Modi reached out to the voters of the state by starting his speech in Bhojpuri language in a video conference after he launched the Rs 20,050 crore-Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) and several other initiatives related to fisheries and animal husbandry in Bihar.

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The assembly polls in the state are likely to be held in October-November. The Prime Minister highlighted several initiatives taken by the Centre to help farmers and migrants from Bihar during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, including providing free ration to migrants returning home from cities, and PMGKAY.

"Bihar is bravely facing floods situation as well as coronavirus. We are aware of the flood situation in Bihar and adjoining areas. The efforts of both Centre and state government is to ensure the completion of relief work in a speedy manner," Modi said.

Due to several initiatives, the government has been successful in ensuring there is less impact of coronavirus on villages, he said, adding that the motto behind all the initiatives is to make the country self-reliant. To support farmers, the government has transferred Rs 6,000 crore directly to the bank accounts of 75 lakh farmers in Bihar since the launch of PM-Kisan, he said. Over 10 crore farmers across the country have benefited so far under the PM-Kisan scheme, Modi said.

Under this scheme, launched in 2019, Rs 6,000 is provided to farmers annually in three equal instalments. Besides, the Prime Minister said the Centre is focusing on ensuring that free ration under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) reaches to the needy person in Bihar. He also said the PMGKAY has been extended till Diwali and Chhath festivals in November.

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    Under PMGKAY, five kilograms of food grains per person and one kilogram of dal per household is provided free of cost to ration card holders. Modi said many migrants are returning to Bihar and are showing interest in animal husbandry related works and that the government is encouraging them through several schemes.

    The Rs 20,050 crore-Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) and several initiatives launched in Patna, Purnia, Sitamarhi, Madhepur, Kishanganj and Samastipur in Bihar will not only create new infrastructure but also provide market to farmers, he said. These initiatives were launched through a virtual meeting. Praising the Bihar Chief Minister, who was also present during the virtual meeting, Modi said, "under the leadership of Nitish Kumarji, very good work is being done in the state to ensure drinking water reaches villages".

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    Five years ago, safe drinking water had reached only 2 per cent of the households and now this number has crossed 70 per cent, he said.

    During this period, around 1.5 crore homes were linked with piped water supply. This initiative has been further strengthened with the Centre's Jal Jeevan Mission. During COVID-19 period, 60 lakh homes in Bihar were given piped water connection which is a big achievement, Modi said.

    The Prime Minister also emphasised on the need to be more vocal for local products like mangoes, litchi and Madhubani art to make Bihar self-reliant. In the virtual meeting, Union Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Minister Giriraj Singh and his junior ministers Sanjeev Balyan and Pratap Chandra Sarangi were present. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi were also present.

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