The river Ganga appears to have become shallow due to accumulation of silt at different points downstream causing a host of problems for Bihar, including recurring floods, he said at a function to inaugurate the new building of a leading vernacular newspaper.

Identifying siltation at Farakka dam in West Bengal as the reason responsible for interruption in flow of the river Ganga, Kumar said that because of silt the river carries only 400 cusec water downstream from Bihar after entering into the state with 1600 cusec water.

Stating that the holy river was facing a crisis to its very existence, the Chief Minister regretted that most of the measures taken so far have focused on restoring cleanliness of the river water and not for its steady and uninterrupted flow.

He said he had recently attended a meeting of the Ganga River Basin Authority at New Delhi which was presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and suggested various measures for ensuring uninterrupted flow of the river.

Calling for a study on the crisis afflicting the river, he suggested measures like removal of silt gathered at Farakka Dam and restoration of forest in catchment areas of the river to prevent siltation.

Going as far as to suggest the need to review relevance of Farakka Barrage, the Bihar Chief Minister said that the construction of dams for irrigation in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal will amount to converting the river into a huge pond.

Ruing that the river has lost its way in the state capital and moved away from embankments, besides causing flood problems, Kumar called for a campaign by the media, particularly the popular vernacular daily so that the holy river could be saved from extinction.

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