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Bihar CM finds ground reality biting

Whether the people would repose faith in his government again, only time would tell but one thing is certain - Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is on a ‘reality feel’ tour, may have already come to know that delivery mechanism is needed overhaul.

india Updated: May 07, 2010 16:38 IST
Vijay Swaroop

It is christened as the Vishwas Yatra aimed at testing the mass popularity of the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar as well as it’s functioning.

Whether the people would repose faith in his government again, only time would tell but one thing is certain - Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is on a ‘reality feel’ tour, may have already come to know that delivery mechanism is needed overhaul.

Take this, for example...

Chief Minister Kumar, who was now on his customary ‘trip’ round the village at Dhanchiha, situated in the belly of Kosi, to take a look at the implementation of programmes was taken aback when a labourer, Tapeshwar Sadai, who had installed one of the three new hand pumps at this village bordering Nepal, declared that the contractor had ordered that he removed the pipes as soon as the chief minister passed that area. The pipes have to returned to the shopkeeper.

A shocked Nitish Kumar at loss for words could come up with a “Don’t worry, this will not happen.” The pumps will remain where they are.

Incidentally, the Chief Engineer (North), public health and engineering department, Baleshwar Prasad Singh, proudly boasted that the village of 2000 had six hand pumps and three more were installed by Wednesday night.

The biggest challenge, which Kumar faces as he goes about seeking the people’s trust is an all-pervasive corruption that touches every branch of the administrative machinery here. “I was demanded Rs 3000 for an IAY by panchayat members,” said Aruchitya Devi to HT but still to get one.

Kumar spent some 20 minutes at the Dalit tola. Before that, Kumar went round the village for full two hours and had a look at the primary health centre, the ICDS centre, the middle school and the bridge and road constructed under Mukhyamantri Yojana.

Kumar, enjoyed the company of tiny-tots at the government run ICDS centre or village play school. “Hey, don’t put your pencil in mouth,” he told a kid. “What is brinjal used for?” he asked at the village pathsala (school).

At Danchiha middle school, he asks students to tell tables and had a look at the meal supplied under mid-day meal scheme. Kumar, focused on finding out how the various schemes and projects were implemented. He went trough the records of payment at local post office and saw the payments made against NAREGA.

A large crowd had gathered to hear the CM at the village situated in the belly of Kosi. Incidentally, this was the first ever visit of a Chief Minister, situated barely 12 kms of Indo-Nepal border. It’s adjoining villages, like Mahua-Majhari is infamous for its criminal antecedent. “He has stopped badmasi (criminal activities) and now provided job in villages,” said Soma Devi, a septuagenarian, who trekked 4 kms to hear the CM.

Kumar did not disappoint the villagers. “Please ensure that at least one MNREGA project is implemented in each village of the district. This will help in stopping the migration further,” he said while addressing the gathering.

The Chief Minister announced to link Bajewa with NH 57. “Bihar has changed in last four-and-half years. It has changed just because of you,” he said to win back people’s support.

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