Patna: The high population growth rate in Bihar is a matter of concern and if it continues, it will double by 2051 and erode economic growth, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Saturday. "If the population growth rate continues in the years to come, our population will double by 2051 and put insurmountable pressure on infrastructure, resources and land in particular that cannot be stretched to accommodate the growing number of people," Kumar said at a paediatricians' conference in Patna.
"We will be hard pressed to deal with food and nutrition security of the people if the population growth rate does not stablize," he said. "The 25.05 per cent decadal population growth in Bihar in a serious matter of concern as impact of economic growth rate is not positively reflected on the people, particular on human development indices like per capita income," he said.
Stating that the population growth rate was directly linked to high fertility rate of women at 3.7 per cent, he called for an awareness campaign and touched on government measures in this direction. Taking a cue from the Population Stablization Council's observations that lack of education of women and girls was the main cause of high population growth rate, he said the state government has decided to set up one high school in each gram panchayat for secondary education of the children.
Touching on health issues, Nitish said that the state government has successfully contained polio through vaccination over the past few years which has been lauded by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and even in Pakistan.