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Growth dips in poor districts

Patna, Jan. 20: The districts falling under the two relatively backward regions of the state — Seemanchal and Kosi — have either held their position or slipped further on the growth ladder vis-ΰ-vis domestic production from 2004-05 to 2010-11.

According to the data released by the directorate of economics and statistics (DES) under planning and development department, Patna district has registered the highest per capita gross district domestic product (GDDP) of Rs 57,843 in 2010-11 over 2004-05 constant prices, while Sheohar registered the lowest per capita GDDP of Rs 6,209.

Patna and Sheohar ranked one and 38 in terms of per capita GDDP in 2004-05 and 2010-11, the DES figures suggest.

Purnea, Kishanganj, Araria and Katihar — which comprise the relatively backward districts of Seemanchal region — have slipped further on the district domestic product ladder.

Purnea, Kishanganj, Araria and Katihar that ranked 16, 15, 33 and eight respectively on the district domestic product indicator in 2004-05 have slipped to 24, 28, 30 and 13 in 2010-11, the DES data stated.

Similarly, districts of another relatively backward Kosi region that includes Khagaria, Saharsa, Supaul and Madhepura have either held their position or slipped in their rankings in 2010-11 over 2004-05 in terms of district domestic product.

Khagaria has improved its position from 31 in 2004-05 to 21 in 2010-11, while Saharsa remained at 10 both in 2004-05 and 2010-11, the DES report stated, adding that Supaul and Madhepura, which ranked 26 and 23 respectively in 2004-05, have slipped to 34 and 36 in 2010-11.

Asked about the reason behind the districts of the two regions slipping further in terms of domestic production, department principal secretary Vijoy Prakash said: “These are relatively backward districts and they would take time to pick up growth momentum in relation to other districts. These districts have made significant progress in recent years but that is not included in the figures because they have been compiled up to 2010-11.”

The government has introduced tailor-made programmes such as the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) and Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for the bordering and under-developed districts, the fruits of which could be seen in next time, Prakash said.

Districts like Supaul, Araria, Saharsa, Madhepura, Purnea — parts of Seemanchal and Kosi area which have traditionally been relatively less developed with a sizeable Muslim population — witnessed massive destruction because of breach in the Kosi embankment at Kusaha in Nepal in August 2008. More than three million people were left marooned because of the disastrous floods.