Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will begin his statewide ''Jal-Jeevan-Hariyali Yatra'' against climate change from December 3, officials said on Monday. Emphasising the importance of water conservation and afforestation, the chief minister will undertake the four-day first phase of the tour in the northwestern districts of the state, they said.
"Nitish Kumar will commence the ''yatra'' from Bagha in West Champaran district and after traversing East Champaran and Siwan districts, he will conclude the first phase of the tour at Gopalganj district," a senior official said.
The chief minister will speak in public meetings on climate change, launch projects under his ''Jal-Jeevan-Hariyali Abhiyan'', inspect ponds and waste management units and hold talks with officials concerned, he said.
The entire ''yatra'', during which the chief minister will traverse the length and breadth of the state, is expected to conclude by January 19, following which a human chain would be formed, the official said.
The human chain will showcase state government initiatives such as a ban on sale and consumption of liquor and drives against dowry and child marriage. The Bihar chief minister has won accolades from American business magnate Bill Gates for the initiative.
The tour comes less than a year ahead of the state Assembly elections, success in which will enable Nitish Kumar to return to power for the fourth consecutive time and ultimately make him the longest-serving chief minister of Bihar.
The JD(U) national president is known for conducting statewide tours to review progress made in the remote corners of Bihar.
The ''Jal-Jeevan-Hariyali Yatra'' shares a name with the chief minister's drive launched a few months back against climate change.
The drive was conceptualised after an all-party meeting in July this year in which members of both the Houses of the state Assembly had unanimously agreed to make efforts in combating climate change.