The Kosi administration is caught up in frenzy.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar is to be in the region for his 'Adhikar rally' to bolster support for special state status rally which is to be held in Patna on November 4. The district administrations in Saharsa and Madhepura, where Kumar will be on Friday-Saturday are thus seriously into sprucing up the towns.
The circuit houses and other administrative buildings are being given fresh coat of paint, while broken stretches of roads, on which he may travel, are being patched up. High mast lights are being resurrected and orders have gone out to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the region for the duration of the chief minister's visit. The JD(U), too, is preparing for a rousing welcome.
The CM is scheduled to reach Saharsa at 10am on Friday by road from Khagaria via Maheshkhunt-Dumri bridge. The bridge was earlier closed to traffic after a stretch subsided some two years back during the floods.
However, while the party has gone electric, locals are asking number of questions on issues that affect them. They expect the chief minister to meet some of these aspirations.
"We are concerned about the condition of Dumri bridge, which is our only means to an exit to the southern areas of the state. During floods, we were cut off for weeks, when the bridge was damaged by the twin onslaught of the Gandak and Kosi waters," said Dhanik Lal Sah of Bihra bazaar. He said, "We were cut off for two whole years but there was no urgency to resurrect the bridge".
The surface communication infrastructure via Pansalva-Maheshkhunt was disrupted two years back when four pillars of the BP Mandal Setu, popularly known as Dumri bridge, developed tilting. In 2011, a substitute steel screw pile bridge was built at a cost R19 crore alongside the tilted bridge, which too caved in during recent floods. That cut off over 20 lakh people in the region.
"People are most cut up over the damage to road link between Madhepura-Purnia via Murliganj, non-revival of rail link between Madhepura-Purnia and pauperisation of farmers due to siltation since 2008 floods and non-realisation of compensation even after a lapse of four years," said Jagdambi Yadav of Baluwaha Ghat.