Bihar infra growth on fast track, Rs 53000 crore committed, says PM Modi | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Bihar infra growth on fast track, Rs 53000 crore committed, says PM Modi

At a function organised in the Taal area of Mokama, about 100 km east of Patna, PM Narendra Modi said, ‘Bihar may not have seen such a huge volume of ongoing works since Independence’.

india Updated: Oct 15, 2017 00:07 IST
Subhash Pathak
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar during the foundation stone laying ceremony of projects under Namami Gange and National Highway in Mokama, Bihar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar during the foundation stone laying ceremony of projects under Namami Gange and National Highway in Mokama, Bihar. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday sought to present Bihar as a success story in terms of infrastructure growth under NDA rule at the Centre, saying that the people of the state were themselves stunned to know that projects worth over Rs 38,000 crore were implemented or launched within a short span of three years.

Speaking at a function organised to mark the foundation laying of various infrastructure projects worth Rs 3769 crore in the Taal area of Mokama, about 100 km east of Patna, Modi said, the government had demonstrated that fate of any state could be changed in such a short span of time.

“Bihar may not have seen such a huge volume of ongoing work going ever since Independence,” he said, adding that Bihar would be among prosperous states by 2022.

Underscoring the necessity for development of communication links as precondition for growth, Modi said he had significantly increased the budget size in the last three years so that the pace of development could be doubled.

He said the network of rural roads had increased significantly at the national level. “However, it needs to be backed up with roads, which connect growth centres to help assure economic prosperity to villages,” he said, amid a steady chant of ‘Modi...Modi’ from a huge crowd, comprising mostly of youngsters.

The PM also targeted his political rivals, alleging there were people who sought to run down investments in road and other communication projects. “Road projects worth Rs 53,000 crore are either going on or set to be launched soon. That will bring about a massive change in basic infrastructure of Bihar,” he said.

The projects for which the foundation stones were laid by the PM included Rs 1161 crore six-lane bridge over the river Ganga in Mokama, parallel to existing Rajendra Setu, for widening of four national highways and Rs 738-crore for revamp of sewerage treatment plants and laying new sewage network in Patna under Namami Gange project.

Apparently ignoring chief minister Nitish Kumar’s opposition to development of waterways in the river Ganga, Modi said the operation of waterways from Patna to Haldia would go a long way in bringing down the cost of transport and thereby reduce the prices of commodities. The PM also remained non-committal on the CM’s request for a comprehensive plan for development of Mokama Tal area.

Spread over 1,016 square kilometres, from Fatuha (in Patna) to Barbigha (Begusarai) along the river Ganga, the Tal area remains submerged in water. The area is known as the bowl of pulses. But farmers are unable to reap good yield for want of timely clearance of water.

Starting his speech in the local Magahi dialect, Modi sought to connect with the locals, as he cited historic and literary contributions of the region. He referred the place as ‘tapobhumi’ of Baba Chauharmal, a Dalit reformer, and Parshuram, the legendary fighter-saint Brahmin, and cited contributions of Rashtra Kavi Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’, who spent his childhood near Mokama, while referring to the place as ‘once a mini-Kolkata’.

He also recalled the importance of Simaria Ghat, where Jayaprakash Narayan had spent time before launching the students’ movement and said he wished to bring back the old glory of Mokama as the industrial capital of Bihar that was set up during the regime of first chief minister Srikrishna Sinha.

Union minister of surface transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said his ministry was committed to implementing Rs 53,000-crore road projects, announced as part of the special package worth Rs 1.25 crore by the PM, on time.

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Underscoring the necessity for development of communication links as precondition for growth, Modi said he had significantly increased the budget size in the last three years so that the pace of development could be doubled.