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Modi announces Rs.1.25 lakh crore package for Bihar

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Ara, Bihar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs.1.25 lakh crore Bihar package to “change the face of Bihar” on Tuesday.

Narendra Modi_4CModi inaugurated a national highway project in Ara town of Bhojpur district and said: “I am announcing a package of Rs.1.25 lakh crore. This package will change the face of Bihar.”

He said Rs.40,000 crore left from an earlier aid to the state will also be given, taking the total amount of central assistance to Rs.1.65 lakh crore and promised to “implement the package fully”.

“If we want to solve people’s problems then the only way ahead is development,” Modi said.

Nitish_Kumar_(cropped)

He questioned Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s anger when he had called Bihar “bimaru” (sick). “They say Bihar is not ‘bimaru’, and then they make demands…,” Modi said.

Modi also said: “I will change the destiny of the country.”

He said the central government was formulating special schemes to empower women and OBCs in the state of Bihar.

He spoke a few lines in Bhojpuri language and greeted the people.

Modi was earlier received at the Patna airport by Governor Ram Nath Kovind and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Modi laid the foundation stone of a four-lane road connecting Patna and Buxar in Ara, the district headquarters of Bhojpur, about 60 km from Patna.

All private schools in Ara were closed on Monday and Tuesday due to restrictions on plying of school buses on several route through the town and for security reasons.

The four-lane highway and other projects were approved by the previous Congress led UPA government.

Modi will later in the day address the Bharatiya Janata Party third parivartan rally in Saharsa district in flood-prone Kosi region.

He has already addressed two election rallies in Muzaffarpur and Gaya ahead of the forthcoming assembly polls.

(IANS)

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India Struggles with Encephalitis Outbreak in Eastern State of Bihar, One of Its Poorest Regions

In 2014, an outbreak of encephalitis killed 350 children in Muzaffarpur

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India, Encephalitis Outbreak, Bihar
Children showing symptoms of encephalitis undergo treatment at Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital in Muzaffarpur, Bihar state, India, June 18, 2019. VOA

At least 152 children have died in an encephalitis outbreak during the month of June in India’s eastern state of Bihar, according to local health authorities. Following a petition, India’s supreme court ordered an investigation into the epidemic.

Acute encephalitis syndrome, sometimes referred to as ‘brain fever’, has claimed lives in 20 of Bihar’s 38 districts.  In particular, the disease has gripped the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, reaching epidemic proportions in a region already stricken with poverty and poor child health.

In 2014, an outbreak of encephalitis killed 350 children in Muzaffarpur.

A petition filed to India’s supreme court sought to end the current epidemic, accusing local and regional governments of being negligent in their response.

India, Encephalitis Outbreak, Bihar

At least 152 children have died in an encephalitis outbreak during the month of June in India’s eastern state of Bihar. Pixabay

“[Encephalitis] is completely curable and lives of young children are being lost due to the inaction of state machinery,” the petition read.

“Most of the deaths are occurring due to lack of medical facilities in the area of outbreak,” it continued.

In response to the petition, Indian supreme court justice Sanjiv Khanna said “We issue notice to the Bihar government seeking a detailed response.”

State and national officials must respond within seven days on health conditions, according to India’s top court.

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India’s health ministry affirmed its earlier promise to open a children’s ward in the district and monitor the epidemic, as state health official face sharp criticism for what has been seen as indifference and negligent behavior.

India’s health minister Harsh Varadhan insisted that the Indian government was providing “all possible support” to combat the epidemic.

Since June 1, more than 700 cases of the disease have been recorded, though there are signs that the disease has been slowing, with no new deaths reported on Monday. (VOA)