The spectre of a "terrible drought" is looming large on Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said in the assembly on Monday, urging members of both houses of the legislature to discuss means to combat the impending crisis.
Mr Kumar made the grim prediction while intervening in a debate on an adjournment motion on the outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), which has claimed the lives of more than 150 children across the state.
"I do not go by what scientists are saying. My own experience tells me that Bihar may be heading for a ''bhayankar sookha'' (terrible drought). It is my request to all MLAs and MLCs we should convene a meeting wherein we shall devote the whole day to discussing how best to tackle the situation," he said.
Each legislator shall share the problems specific to his or her constituency and even come up with suggestions, he said. "Only this way, would we be able to squarely combat the impending crisis," the CM said.
Mr Kumar also rued that his government was working towards ensuring sufficient electricity and water supply to all citizens of the state, but the efforts could go in vain on account of wasteful consumption.
"What would be the consequence if people start using electricity wastefully? How can we prevent our ground water table from plummeting if the piped water supplied for drinking purposes is splurged on washing floors, irrigating gardens," he said.
In 2015 assembly polls, Nitish Kumar had come up with a list of seven resolves, popularly known as ''saat nischay'' which included, among other promises, "har ghar bijli lagatar (continuous electricity in every household)" and "har ghar nal kaa jal (tap water in every household)".
"Environmental degradation is for anyone to see. We just need to look at the strange phenomenon this year - too little rainfall, yet too many incidents of lightning and thunder," he said.
The entire world is heading towards a major crisis in terms of availability of water, Mr Kumar said, adding, Bihar will not remain immune to it.
"Just look at Darbhanga, known as a city of ponds, now reeling under a severe water crisis," he said.