Three years into office, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is dissatisfied with whatever he has done for Bihar. Not because he has done nothing, but because a lot more needs to be done.
“Bihar being a deficient state... we had to start from scratch to put the state on the rails of development.... How can I be satisfied with whatever has been done? If I am satisfied then I would have achieved nirvana,” he told HT on the eve of completing three years as CM.
Kumar shared his achievements: Law and order was under control, 25,000 criminals had been booked, fresh blood had been infused in the police with the constitution of the State Armed Police, some corporations that had been shut down had been revived, proposals for investment worth Rs 70,000 crore were in the pipeline, technical institutes including an IIT and Patna’s Chandragupta Institute of Management had come up.
“The ongoing development works are so evident that people now do not talk about caste but discuss development,” he said. “As a by-product, the issue of development is now being linked to votes,” he added.
His top priority in the next two years is capacity building and skill development for creating necessary infrastructure, especially roads. “We haven’t been able to build roads in Patna because of lack of engineering capacity. We have enough money but no executing agency.
“Tomorrow, I am going to inaugurate 115 bridges to be built across the state over three years,” he said.
“Besides, agencies like the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the UK’s DFID have pumped in money in social and health sectors. We are in the process of striking a deal with the JBIC (Japan Bank for International Cooperation) to fund the Buddhist circuit roads. The Nabinagar power plant is being constructed with the NTPC. It would generate 1500 MW power.”
He added that sops offered for the welfare of Mahadalits and Muslims, has worried political opponents. “Now, they (Union ministers Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan) have begun talking my language,” he said.