Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and rail minister Lalu Prasad have been extremely busy this month hopping from one place to another and
inaugurating various schemes in view of the coming general elections.
On Sunday, when Nitish was in Nawada laying the foundation stone of a road project, his rival Lalu was then laying foundation for the construction of Ashokdham Railway Halt at Jamui. On Monday, Nitish will go to Kaimur to kick off some schemes while Lalu will visit Jamalpur and Bhagalpur to inaugurate a renovated station and flag off a train.
By the end of this year, the duo will have laid the foundation stones of over a dozen developmental projects. Nitish is expected to spend the last day of the year at Kusaha in Nepal and Saharsa to oversee the ongoing work on the Kosi embankment breach.
In December, Nitish laid foundation stone of a bridge connecting Arwal with Sahar. He also kicked off the Kamla Siphon project in Madhubani, weir construction on Panchane river at Giriak in Nalanda district besides various development works in Jamui, Lakhisarai, Nawada and Gaya.
Meanwhile, the RJD chief also went on a foundation laying spree of railway projects that included new rail lines on Gaya-Chatra and Gaya-Daltonganj sections, a rail bridge on Hathwa-Bhatni line, super structure of Ganga rail-cum-road bridge at Digha, passenger amenities at Daltonganj. He also flagged off Patna-Vasco da Gama Express and inaugurated a computerised reservation counter at Chhapra.
“These are all chunavi shilanyas (poll-related foundation-laying events),” said Nitish. He sought to know from Lalu what was the need to lay foundation of new projects when old ones were incomplete. “He is sitting on all projects started by me,” alleged Nitish.
Lalu too was critical of the Nitish government
accusing it of not providing land for railway projects. He alleged that the state government had adopted an “indifferent attitude” and blamed it for the delay in various ongoing railway projects.
Nitish, however, denied the charge. “On most of the projects he sat on for nearly five years and when the elections are round the corner he is running to lay foundation stones. People know the reality of these functions,” said Nitish.
Nitish claimed that the projects for which he is laying foundation stones were not meant to put only the inaugural slabs there. “I will ensure that the actual work starts immediately,” he said.