Focus shifted from governance in Bihar in the past, says Modi


New Delhi, Sep 15 Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of seven projects in Bihar and said that focus had shifted from governance to other things in the state in the past.

"In the early days after Independence, Bihar was led by big and visionary leaders who also tried their best to remove the distortions caused by slavery. Then came a period when -- instead of building basic facilities in Bihar and providing modern amenities to the people -- the priorities and commitments completely changed. The result was that the focus shifted away from governance in the state," the Prime Minister said in an apparent dig at the Rashtriya Janata Dal, without naming it.

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"In Bihar, work can be done now at such a fast pace; the work will get completed after it is kick-started, which could not be imagined 15 years ago," he remarked.

He stressed on urbanisation and proper facilities in urban areas to help the state achieve the dream of 'Atmanirbhar Bihar'. He said that gone were the days when a few metro cities enjoyed better amenities.

Of the seven projects, four are of water supply, two of sewage treatment, and one of riverfront development. The total cost of these projects is Rs 541 crore.

Modi said that cities situated along the Ganges will have sewage treatment plants to help preserve the river. He inaugurated a sewage treatment plant built under the Namami Gange programme at Beur and Karmalichak in the Patna Municipal Corporation area.

The Prime Minister said that the country was in the process of developing many 'Ganga Grams', of which Bihar too was a beneficiary. He also inaugurated water supply projects built under the AMRUT Mission in Siwan Municipal Council and Chapra Municipal Corporation jurisdictions.

He pointed out that riverfront development helped boost tourism, adding that 130 'ghats' are already being developed.

"One such riverfront has already been completed in Patna and another will follow in Muzaffarpur," he added.

He also highlighted that 'Project Dolphin' will help the Gangetic dolphins, particularly those found in Bihar.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi, and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad were among the dignitaries who joined in at the virtual inauguration of the projects.

In his trademark concluding remarks, the Prime Minister cautioned people to be proactive about basic COVID-19 protocols like wearing face masks and maintenance of a safe distance from each other.