Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the NDA government in Bihar was striving to usher in inclusive growth in the state by ensuring basic amenities to its people to set the stage for a self-reliant Bihar.
“Bihar suffered a lot in the past due to misplaced priorities, vested interest and scams of past governments. As a result, rural areas were put on backward trend, while urban infrastructure became irrelevant for want of upgrade as per the growing population,” said PM Modi in an apparent swipe at the RJD-led dispensation.
The PM was speaking after inaugurating and launching work on the Rs 541 crore infrastructure projects, which included operationalisation of two sewerage treatment plants (STPs) along with network at Beur and Karmalichal in Patna, costing Rs 152 crore, through video conferencing. He also laid the foundation stone of river front development in Muzaffarpur and unveiled water supply schemes at Chapra and Siwan.
PM Modi said that the NDA government under Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi had been working hard to revive self-confidence of the people by empowering them through a slew of initiatives like empowering girls through education and significant participation of deprived people in local bodies and panchayati raj system. “Local bodies have been strengthened to plan and execute scheme as per local needs,” he said.
He said that the joint efforts of the Centre and the state government had resulted in qualitative change in urban infrastructure to ensure basic amenities to all. “The government is committed to make Bihar self-reliant to achieve the objective of Atmanirbhar Bharat. Enhancement in urban infrastructure will ensure ease of living for the people and create an ambience suitable for ease of doing business,” said Modi, adding that Bihar had been a land of inventions and innovations.
The PM said that about 2 crore houses were connected with tap water supply under the Centre’s Jal Jivan mission in last one year. “In Bihar, about 12 lakh households would get supply water once the undergoing schemes are complete. Currently, 6 lakh families have tap water supply in their houses under AMRUT scheme. Unlike the previous government, Nitish Kumar’s government work with commitment and finishes the projects on time,” said Modi, adding that the dolphin conservation project being developed from Patna to Bhagalpur stretch of Ganga would benefit the state in many ways.
During his address, Modi sought to connect the people by invoking the most popular Chhath puja saying that the renovated Ghat at Muzaffapur would let women celebrate the festival in its traditional spirit. He also lauded role of migrant workers, who returned to Bihar due to the Covid-19 outbreak, saying that they contributed a lot for timely completion of water supply schemes in Bihar.
The PM also paid tribute to M Vishweshwaraya and said that engineers had played a crucial role in the development of Bihar.
This is third time in the last one week that the Prime Minister laid foundation stones of or inaugurated various schemes in the state in the run up to the elections. On Sunday, he launched three petroleum projects in Bihar, costing Rs 900 crore. He had on Thursday unveiled projects worth Rs 294.53 crore related to agriculture and animal husbandry in the poll-bound state.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar said that the water resources department was devising plans to use treated water from the SPTs for agriculture purposes, instead of releasing it in Punpun River. While welcoming the Centre’s gesture to help the state government achieve a holistic growth, Kumar urged the people to abstain from misusing supply water and put avoidable strain on ecology.
Earlier deputy CM Sushil Modi said that the operation of the STPs under Namami Gange project would help the government’s drive to stop discharge of untreated waste in Ganga, which is currently highly polluted. “Efforts are on to check the flow of waste water, chemical and industrial affluent in the river to make it pure,” said the Deputy CM.
Governor Fagu Chauhan, Union ministers Gajenda Singh Shekhawat, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Hardeep Singh Puri also participated in the programme through video conferencing.
Reacting to the string of launching events lined up for the PM in Bihar, Congress leader Prem Chandra Mishra said that Modi had stepped in steer the poll campaign after he realised that Nitish Kumar alone would not be able to counter the burgeoning anti-incumbency against the ruling dispensation. “BJP’s internal survey also hints at serious depletion of the credibility of Nitish Kumar,” said the Congress leader.