Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid foundation stones for infrastructural projects worth Rs 33,000 crore in Bihar during a visit to Barauni in Begusarai district today. Among them was the Rs 13,000-crore Patna Metro Rail Project, which was cleared by the cabinet just four days ago.
It was when he reiterated the government’s commitment to establish a second AIIMS institute in the state that opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav sat up to take note. “Prime Minister Modi, you are uttering a white lie. Where do you get the courage to tell the people such lies? Please tell us where and when exactly you are planning to establish this second AIIMS institute, other than the one that was already set up by the United Progressive Alliance government in Patna. Also, could Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also tell us if the Bihar government has any knowledge of this?” he tweeted.
By this remark, Mr Yadav was referring to an ongoing tussle between the centre and the Bihar government over the location of the second AIIMS institute. While Union Minister for State for Health Ashwini Choubey wants it established in Bhagalpur, his hometown, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was keen on the centre revamping the Darbanga Medical College Hospital instead. However, this proposal was shelved because there is no precedent of the Union government taking over state-run medical colleges.
Nearly four years have passed since the Modi government first announced its plan to establish the second AIIMS institute, but no land – expected to be around 200 acres – has been allocated for the purpose yet.
In his address today, PM Modi said that the NDA government was giving a lot of importance to the health sector. While Chapra and Purnea will get new medical colleges, facilities at the ones in Bhagalpur and Gaya will be upgraded, he explained.
Remotely laying the foundation stone for the Patna Metro Rail, he said the project was being developed in keeping with the future needs of the people. “I congratulate the people of Patna because Pataliputra (the ancient name of Patna) is now connected to the Metro Rail,” he added.
Among other projects, PM Modi laid the foundation stone for the Karmalichak Sewerage Network spanning 96.54 km; projects related to sewage treatment plants at Barh, Sultanganj and Naugachia; and the 22 Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) projects at various locations of the state. He also flagged off the Ranchi-Patna AC Weekly Express and inaugurated the electrification of railway lines on the Barauni-Kumedpur, Muzaffarpur-Raxaul, Fatuha-Islampur, and Biharsharif-Daniawan sectors.