New Delhi: Amid the renewed debate over the Centre-state relationship after the land row in Greater Noida, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday met ministers of Central government to press for allocation of electricity earmarked for Bihar from the Central pool and release of funds for the state under the welfare schemes funded by the Centre.

Nitish also sought the central government to expedite the projects being undertaken by the central government apart from providing more funds for other development projects in state.

Nitish met Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde seeking 50 per cent allocation of electricity for the state from NTPC's power projects at Barh and Kahalgaon as per the set norm. Thereafter, he held a meeting with Union Minister for Rural Development Vilasrao Deshmukh over issues like development of rural roads, discrepancies in BPL list and MNREGA.

Nitish, later accused the Centre for giving step-motherly treatment to Bihar.

“Against the allocation of 1965 MW from the Central pool (including 470 MW of hydel power which is seasonal in nature), average availability of power to Bihar is around 900 MW,” he said.

The Bihar CM said state is facing acute power crisis. To drive home his point, the Bihar CM told Shinde that NTPC has allocated 50 per cent power under "Home State Share" from its 14 upcoming power projects to the respective states.

"I request a similar 50 per cent allocation from the Kahalgaon and Barh Super Thermal power station of NTPC," he said.

He also demanded a share for Bihar in hydel power project being set up in Bhutan. “Bihar is facing drought like conditions from past two years. Shortage of power is severely affecting drinking water supply in urban areas. Consequently, the ground water level has gone down drastically,” Nitish said.

Taking a swipe at the Centre, he said modernisation of several power stations is taking place with the government’s effort, but Bihar as of now is fully dependent on the Centre’s quota for power.

During his meeting with Vilasrao Deshmukh, he urged the Centre to approve the revised Core Network for Bihar and sanction money for construction of 9017.51 km roads, which are pending with the National Rural Roads Development Agency (NRRDA).

Kumar said that under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), construction of 18,000 km roads in Bihar is allocated to the Central agencies, but they have so far constructed only 8,000 km roads. He sought Deshmukh’s intervention to speed up the construction work.

“Delay in the release of funds under PMGSY is also affecting the road construction. The sanctioned funds for Bihar amount to Rs 8604 crore against which the state has so far received Rs 4522 crore only,” he said demanding the timely release of the pending funds.

Noting the discrepancies between the figures of BPL families as per the surveys of the Centre and the state, Kumar said the Central government should either accept the figures provided by the state government or should establish an independent commission to carry out the same.

He also held discussion with Deshmukh over raising the funds under Indira Awas Yojna and releasing Rs 3298 crore labour budget under MNREGA.

JPN/Bureau