On a day when a two-member Election Commission delegation is touring Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for seven projects related to urban infrastructure worth Rs 541 crore on Tuesday via video conferencing.
In the last one week, the PM has dedicated to the nation several projects related to the petroleum sector and launched a number of initiatives in the fisheries sector.
Bihar goes to polls in October and November. A delegation of the EC is touring the state to oversee preparations for the polls which would be held under the prevailing extraordinary circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The commission is likely to announce election schedule in a few days after which the model code of conduct would come into force.
The Bihar assembly elections would be unprecedented as they would be the first state polls when a protocol comprising several measures such as wearing of mask, maintaining social distance and frequent washing of hands would be strictly adhered to.
The slew of projects being inaugurated and launched is a reminder of a similar windfall for PM Modi’s home state Gujarat which had gone to the polls in 2017.
On Tuesday, PM Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of seven projects related to urban infrastructure. Of these, four projects are related to water supply, two to sewerage treatment and one to riverfront development.
The projects that were inaugurated include sewerage treatment plants built under Namami Gange at Beur and Karmalichak in Patna Municipal Corporation.
Other projects include round-the-clock supply of drinking water in Siwan Municipal Council and Chapra Municipal Corporation under AMRUT Mission.
PM Modi also laid the foundation stone of water supply scheme in Munger and Jamalpur municipal corporations.
He laid the foundation stone of Muzaffarpur Riverfront Development Scheme which is being built under Namami Gange. The project aims at building basic facilities like toilets, information kiosk, changing room and pathway, according to a government statement.
On September 13, the PM dedicated to the nation three key projects related to the petroleum sector in Bihar. The projects include the Durgapur-Banka section of the Paradip-Haldia-Durgapur Pipeline Augmentation Project and two LPG bottling plants.
PM Modi said gas-based industry and petro-connectivity have a direct impact on people’s lives, on their standard of living and also create millions of new employment opportunities.
He said efforts to connect eastern India with Paradip on the eastern seaboard and Kandla on the western seaboard were undertaken under the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga . He said the pipeline, covering about 3000 km, would connect seven states, Bihar being a prominent state.
The pipeline coming from Paradip to Haldia would be extended to Patna and Muzaffarpur, while the pipeline from Kandla would also be connected to it. It has reached Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. He said, “When the entire project is ready, it will become one of the longest pipeline projects in the world.”
PM Modi also said big bottling plants are being installed in Bihar due to these gas pipelines. Two new bottling plants were launched by him in Banka and Champaran.
On September 10, Narendra Modi launched PM Matsya Sampada Yojana, e-Gopala App and some other initiatives related to studies and research in fisheries production, dairy, animal husbandry and agriculture in Bihar.
Speaking on the occasion, the PM said the motive behind all the schemes was to empower the villages and make India self-reliant in the 21st century.
The project was launched in 21 states with an investment of Rs 20,000 crore in the next four to five years. Out of this, projects worth Rs 1700 crore were launched on September 10.
Several facilities were inaugurated in Patna, Purnia, Sitamarhi, Madhepura, Kishanganj and Samastipur. The scheme provides for new infrastructure, modern equipment and access to new markets to the fish producers, along with increased opportunities for through farming.
The PM said it was the first time after independence that such a major scheme was launched in the country for the fisheries sector.
On September 12, aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who was in Bihar, made some significant announcements.
He said daily flights would become operational from Darbhanga to Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru before Chhath Puja. He said, “Bookings will start by end September for daily flights from Darbhanga to Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Flight operations will begin in the first week of November, before the auspicious festival of Chhath Puja. This a boon for 22 districts of North Bihar.”
Puri said his ministry was trying to fulfil PM Modi’s vision of ‘Hawai chappal se hawai jahaz tak’ in order to transform the lives of people. “While work on the ground is in full swing in Darbhanga, other processes are going ahead as well,” he tweeted.
He said it was one more step under the ambitious UDAN scheme to provide air connectivity to the interior regions of the country under the motto ‘Sab