Jamui (Bihar): Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday announced special package to all nine naxal affected districts in Bihar.

“Villages that have population of more than 250 will be connected through roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY),” Ramesh said after inaugurating 285 km long constructed road worth Rs 149 crore, which connects 78 villages in the region.

“In Bihar, around 6000 km long roads have been constructed under this scheme. In current fiscal, the centre has given Rs 2500 crore to the Bihar government,” he said while addressing a public meeting here.

He also refuted the charges of Nitish Kumar government that the centre doesn’t favour non-Congress state government.

Reduce number of central schemes: Nitish

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar demanded that the Centre should reduce the number of schemes planned and sponsored by it for the states, leaving it to the respective states to decide the programmes that suit their requirements.

"It is a matter as straight as this -- one size of shoe cannot fit all.... Every state has its own requirements and necessities and the schemes should be launched in keeping with the requirements of a state," he told reporters and demanded that the number of centrally-sponsored schemes for states be curtailed.

He said he would meet Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday here and put forth his views during discussions with him.

The Chief Minister said the states should be given freedom to launch schemes in keeping with the requirements and necessities.

In reply to a question, Kumar alleged that Bihar was not receiving electricity from the central quota.

"We want to set up new thermal power plants and revive power plants but it is unfortunate that the Centre is not cooperating with us", he said.

"We want to weed out shortage of electricity here.... The state is evolving action plan for the purpose to meet the requirements of the state... but here again the Centre is putting obstacles," the Chief Minister said.

"We are setting up new power plants and expanding capacity of Barauni and Kanti thermal power projects", he said.

Kumar said the Centre and the state can work together to end electricity crisis in Bihar.

(Bureau/Agencies)