PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday trashed the Rs 1,25,000-crore special package announced for the state by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that 87 percent of the projects were repackaged old schemes already in the pipeline. “The detailed evaluation of the 1,25,000-crore package reveals that projects worth at least Rs 1,08,000 crore are nothing but repackaged old schemes,” he alleged at a hurriedly called press conference here.
“The figure is deceptive. A large chunk of the special package -- projects worth Rs 1,08,667 crore -- is coming out of the money already promised to the state for ongoing and pre-approved projects. There is hardly anything special in this special package” he said.
Giving graphic details of different projects mentioned in the special package, he alleged that the appropriation of pre-approved allocations for old ones and continued contributions to ongoing schemes announced by various ministries in the past were what the package was all about.
As for the new projects in the package, the Chief Minister said: “New projects worth about Rs 6,000 crore are part of the package. But there is not even a shred of evidence of planning or work on the ground for these schemes.”
“The incremental resource to Bihar in the whole package will not be more than Rs 10,368 crore,” Nitish said. “Further, this amount is too without any defined timeline or disbursement modalities.”
“The four-laning of the Patna-Gaya-Dobhi section (of a National Highway) costing Rs 1,231.98 crore which was already included in NHDP phase-III was repeated in the special package” Nitish said. Similarly, a Rs 2,361.87-crore bridge at Munger which was sanctioned in 2013 and where work is underway, has also been included in the special package, he further alleged.
Referring to the way Modi announced the special package at a rally in Ara on 18 August, Nitish said: “It looked like he was auctioning Bihar and the trust of its people.”