Brouhaha over preferential treatment to Bihar by the railway minister

and his unfinished agenda

Prateek K Anand



Patna, (Bihar Times): Sometimes it is quite difficult to understand why leaders from Bihar are so squeamish about helping their home state when leaders from other states are so brazen in doing this.  Defense Minister A K Antony has gone about making the defense PSUs set up their facility in Kerala.  Even non politicos like Dr Madhvan Nair have selected Kerala to set up "Indian Institute of Space Technology" at Thiruvananathpuram while being fully aware that Bihar does not have any ISRO center worth mentioning. I hardly find anyone questioning why the benefit of all the Farm Loan Waiver Schemes have been cornered by so called developed states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu. Moreover, I'm yet to see any one questioning as to how  Mr T R Balu has focused just on developing roads and sea ports in his home state of Tamilnadu only. As per his own claim, he has brought investment of over Rs. 50,000 crores ( Rs 33,000 crores in road sector and balance in ports) to Tamilnadu. Similarly, Mr Velu has lobbied hard to get Rs 7000 crore worth railway project approved for TN. Politicians from Andhra Pradesh were being indignant at their state being ignored. One must add up the fund Andhra Pradesh has cornered over last 10 years.
If the central government had not formulated the policies and its programs the way it has been doing till now, all these so called developed states would have been underdeveloped.  The states which have been the worst sufferers have been actually the states like Orissa, Jharkhand, MP and Chhatishgarh. If any state has any right to be indignant at all, it is only these states.
Bihar certainly deserves a better treatment now before it is too late for Indian Union to manage inequities between various states. Till date Bihar has been marginalized in setting up institutions and assets of national importance, putting it at huge economic disadvantage. As recently as last month, even in the case of 'Institute of Translation Research', Bihar's case was ignored to favour Andhra Pradesh. How long the fellow countryman and the policy makers think that people of Bihar should meekly accept this discrimination. Central policy makers are so blatant that they have not even bothered to release a reconstruction and rehabilitation package for flood ravaged region of Kosi, as they did in case of other national calamities like Gujarat Earthquake and  Tamil Nadu Tsunami. It is hard to comprehend why different yardsticks are being followed for citizens of the same country. Most paradoxical thing has been that the central policy makers are focusing on developing regions which has been traditionally inimical to people coming from other parts of country and ignoring the ones which have been receptive all along.
Anyway, talking about the railway, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav has only partially fulfilled the wishes of the people of state in this Interim Budget. He has made more noise and delivered less in this budget than his earlier budgets even while conceding that it was only an Interim Budget. I would have expected him to take up some railway lines for which surveys were announced in his previous budgets. Also, he has announced survey of Mono Rail for Patna last year with much fanfare but there is no confirmation whether the same is going to happen any soon now. After returning from Japan he forgot his old promise of Mono Rail and ended up on a new promise of Bullet Train which is even less likely to happen soon.  Of particular interest for state would have been announcement pertaining to a Rail Bridge between Chapra and Arrah over the Ganges River and perhaps two more at Bakhtiyarpur and Sahibganj over this mighty river. He could have also ventured to provide fast track connectivity for Kosi Region to the state capital by linking up Saharsa, Kusheshwarsthan, Samastipur and Hajipur using a rail Bridge on Kosi at Kusheswarsthan.
Though the minister has done a commendable job for Bihar over the last five years, yet he is leaving a lot of things incomplete. In fact, if one were to go by the list of surveys, some of the surveys have striking route similarity and yet has not been approved for new rail line till now. It would have been better if the minister had focused on getting those earlier rail lines approved by CCEA and Planning Commission.  Instead of announcing plethora of  new surveys, minister should have focused just on a few missing links like Forbesganj-Bihariganj- Naugachhiya, Virpur-Singheshwarsthan-Madhepura-Bihpur, Banka-Jamui and above all Saharsa-Kusheswarsthan—Samastipur-Hajipur. He may have perhaps also included a link between Thawe and Motihari for which he has announced survey in the last rail budget itself. 
Indeed the minister has gifted a good number of new rail routes to his home state. Still, as a record for posterity, I would like to enclose here all the surveys announced by him in his tenure as railway minister (including the ones in interim budget) which have so far not resulted in rail lines being sanctioned. These are as follows:
1. Lohna-Muktapur via Alinagar, Trimuhani, Bahedi, Shivajinagar, 2. Bhagwanpur –Samastipur via Mahua , Patepur, Tajpur, 3. Kusheshwarsthan-Saharsa, 4. Gaya-Natesar , 5. Chakia-Bairgania via Madhubani, Phenhara, Piprahi, 6. Madhubani-Sitamarhi-Bairgnia via Shivpur, Pakri Deal, Dhaka, 7. Nawadah-Giridih via Satgawan, 8. Bihariganj-Simribakhtiarpur, 9. Madhepura-Singheshwarasthan-Karjayen-Bhimnagar, 10.Pawapuri-Nawada, 11.Banka-Jamui,12.Bahedi-Manjhaul-Rusera Ghat-Barauni, 13.Madhubani- Kamtaul, 14.Thawe-Motihari-Chauradano, 15.Ghogardia-Ghoghepur, 16.Maheshkunt-Narainpur via Agwanighat, 17. Islampur – Manpur via Khijar Sarai/Sarbhada, 18. Bakulha- Belthara Road, 19. Bihariganj – Forbesganj via Muraliganj, Kumarkhand, Chhatapur, 20. Madhepura -Virpur via Singheshwar, Pipra, Triveniganj, 21. Bihariganj – Naugachia via Udakishunganj, Puraini, Chausa, 22. Areraj – Narkatiaganj via Lauria, 23. Dheng – Sonbarsa via Majorganj, Kanhauli, 24. Tinpahar – Bhagalpur, 25. Patna -Mokama Third Line, 26. Patna Mono Rail
I sincerely hope that minister will move quickly in securing permission for the five routes as mentioned earlier as also for mono rail project. Also, a survey for Kathmandu(or at least Raxaul) to Paradip Fast Track Rail Corridor should  be commissioned alongside.




there is nothing new about the writer of this article.when IITs were built nehru chose bengal over bihar for it's eastern zone.freight equilization act was passed  so the resources of bihar be sold cheaper in other states but their manufactured goods were sold at a higher price in bihar than in the states where these were manufactured. the manufacturer added the cost of freight for bringing their products to bihar. the politicians representing bihar were never interested in the developement of bihar but only in their personal benefit of being in central ministry.a youth of bihar  is murdered cold blooded by bombay police and the politicians of bihar with intial noise of vote banking tuned their face into other direction as if nothing happend.

                    i beg to the people of bihar,please do not send any politician back to center in the next election because they have betrayed you,insulted you by not being there  for you at the time of grief.these politicians for their personal gains have helped tarnish the image of bihar not only in india but in the entire world.bihar is seen among world community as a basket case.all present politicians of bihar do not have the slightest desire to develope bihar but how they can become prime minister of india.people of bihar must choose between if they want a prime minister from bihar or  a bihar that is developed and prosperous  so the youth of bihar do not have to look for opportunity elsewhere in india and suffer mistreatment by the locals there.
abhay bhagat,



Congratulations for writing an excellent article Anandji.
I just wish these informations to be passed on to common people of Bihar particularly students who make a large electoral base.Once our leaders are being questioned as to how the central institutes/universities/PSUs/hospitals/powerplants etc. are not coming to the state and are going to the neighbouring states,they will be forced to think seriously over the issue.Dont forget that opening of an IIT in Bihar had become quite a popular issue with the youngsters there.Nitishji talks about opening of Engineering/Medical colleges even in public meetings,because he understands that not only students but guardians are also concerned about these developments.If we write about other higher-learning institutes/PSUs etc and present to the reader comparative data among states it will help them appreciating the fact.

And this is possible only when we send this kind of articles in Hindi-dailies.Therefore I request all of us to start contributing to hindi-newspapers which are widely circulated for example Hindustan,Dainik Jagran etc.Can Ajayji of BiharTimes help us by talking to them and acting as a bridge? We simply have to translate the articles in Hindi.



I fully agree that Bihar has received discreminatory treatment all along. To the list of examples given here many more can be easily added.
However, I would like to add that successive governments of Bihar as well as people of Bihar are equally to blame for this. Except for the period that the RJD was in power, almost always the same party has been in power in both the State and the Centre. Also, the Union cabinet has always had a good representation from Bihar. Despite this if we find the State a victim of neglect then it must be the apathy of our politicians.
Lack of regional patriotism, which has often been blamed for the State's underdevelopment, could be responsible for this. People of Bihar cannot be absolved either. Most major political movements on important national issues have started from Bihar. This dates back to pre-independence days.
But people of Bihar, unlike those of other states, have been indifferent to issues concerning their own State. It appears that, for some reason, they don't like to associate themselves with Bihar. Whatever be the reason there is at least a heartening trend now which has emerged recently.
More and more people from Bihar are asserting their Bihari identity and demanding justice.

Samir Ranjan