Progressive Bihar - Finally the sleeping giant is waking up

Progressive Bihar - Finally the sleeping giant is waking up
Progressive Bihar - Come support it's growth path.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

An appeal for Mr. Santosh Kumar - NIT (REC) Suratkal student

Hats off to all the people who responded to Mr. Prabhat Kumar's and Mr. Shyam Kamath's request and came out wholeheartedly to support Santosh Kumar.

Dear All,
Many of you would have come across emails to support Santosh Kumar (an engineering student at NIT Suratkal). Santosh Kumar hails from Kamhar village in Begusarai district. His father had passed away when he was a child and he was being taken care of by his brother. His brother also recently passed away. Santosh had taken a loan of about Rs. 80,000/- (70,000 initially and another 10,000 of other expenses) for his brothers treatment. Thus Santosh was left with no one to support him for his fees and monthly expenses and a debt of Rs. 80,000/-.

Realizing this Mr. Shyam Kamath, Asst. Prof. at NIT Suratkal took up Santosh's cause and reached out to Mr. Prabhat Kumar, Sr. Research Scientish, Thailand and others to provide help to Santosh. Many people came out to take up the cause of Santosh Kumar. I would specifically like to mention the names of Mr. Shyam Kamath, Mr. Prabhat Kumar, Mr. Ashok Sharma and Mr. Anand Lakhmani here.

Many Biharis came forward to support Mr. Santosh Kumar and today not only his fees for the semester has been paid but also some people have come forward to pool in and remit Rs. 2200 per month to Santosh Kumar for his monthly expenses. The money is being routed through the NGO, Prayaas. Some of the names of people willing to support Santosh are Kartik Sahay, Saroj Kumar, Suman Kumar, Varun Kumar, Prabhakar Pandey, Anup Sinha , Anand Lakhmani, Prabhat Kumar, Amit Sharma,Uday Shankar, Om Prakash Jha, Mr. Anjani Kumar Singh, Prabhakar Pandey, Chandan Singh, Keshav, Divyanshu Verma, Pooja, Santosh Singh, Sanjay KS, NIT Suratkal Alumni, and some others who have decided to directly help Santosh Kumar. (I might have missed some names as I got these from the email trail). Great work people.

The details of contributions made by everyone can be found in this excel sheet

However,I just came to know from Mr. Shyam Kamath that the Rs. 80,000 Santosh Kumar borrowed from friends for his brother's treatment is still pending and is weighing on Santosh's head. Many of you out there can still help Santosh in returning this loan. Mr. Santosh will make all efforts to return the money to all individuals once he starts workings.

I am attaching my email communication, other relevent documents and the ways to get your contributions to Santosh in the documents located at Help Santosh Kumar (

Do come forward for this noble cause.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Investment proposals since 2006 in Bihar: Progress of Bihar

The Bihar State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB) has cleared (or cleared with conditions) 194 investment projects worth more than 115,000 crore rupees (over 23 billion dollars). These projects include

26 Thermal, biogass and solar power plants
25 sugar mills
34 agricultural/food processing units
18 steel and cement plants

Some existing manufacturing facilities are also being augmented.

However many of the projects have not kickstarted as there are delays in land acquisitions, other governmental clearances (like environment), etc. These controls from governmental agencies are good for Bihar's future but at the same time the delays in approvals or rejections have to be reduced. Otherwise we will see many of these investment proposals moving from Bihar to the other states, which will not be good for Bihar.

Nitish Kumarji, do expedite clearance of the projects (if they are pending for political and corrupt reasons) with various ministries/governmental agencies. These projects should be cleared based on the legality and correctness of the investment proposals and how much they can benefit or cause harm to the people of the region. More the time taken, more the chances of corruption and unfair practices. Fulfill your 2015 dream of a developed Bihar.

For all who are interested, the entire list of proposal is posted on the Bihar government website and also on

Is Bihar making progress - Poll

I had started a survey many months back to get people's view whether Bihar is actually making progress consistently. The poll has closed in July 2009 after being open for 6 months and I am happy to declare the results

11% - People who felt that Bihar was not making progress.
1% - People who did not know whether Bihar was making progress or not.
87% - People who felt that Bihar was indeed making progress.

Thank you everyone who voted in this poll.

Investment approvals: Power generation in Bihar - As on July 2009

One of the key focus of the Government of Bihar has been infrastructure development. We have seen the government invest in roads, Primary healthcare and education. The government also realizes that power will also play a major role in the development of Bihar and hence has increased focus on power generation projects in Bihar. Thus between 2006 and 2009 power generation projects worth more than 73,000 crores have been approved or are in the various stages of approval. If all these project materialize, then the total power generation capacity of Bihar will have increased by more than 18,000 mega watts. This will definitely go a long way in the development of Bihar.

While SIPB (State Investment Promotion Board) of Bihar has approved or conditionally approved all these projects, the Bihar cabinet is still taking its sweet time to approve the projects. The Bihar cabinet has only approved 3 projects that will result in a total of 5,440 mega watts of power generation capacity with an investment of 22,779 crores India rupees.

As the government of Bihar has itself said that Bihar will need more than 8000 mega watts of power in the in next 5 years, it should speed up the process of making more approvals. The projects that are approved by the cabinet are

Company : Type : Power capacity (MW): Location : Inv (Cr)
JAS Infrastructure Capital Pvt. Ltd. : Thermal : 2640 : Banka : 11120

Adhunik Power &Natural Resources Ltd. : Thermal : 1000 : Kahalgaon, Bhagalpur : 4369.45

M/S Nalanda Power Company Limited : Thermal : 1800 : Pirpainti, Bhagalpur : 7290

On another note, the Bihar government should also focus on giving approvals to green energy projects which will benefit Bihar more in the long run. Thus solar energy projects and Biomass projects should be encouraged. Currently most power projects in Bihar are Thermal/Coal based.

I have extracted a list of power projects in Bihar and am listing the ones with more than 100 MW production capacity. The list can be accessed here The list of all projects approved from 2006 to July 2009 can also be accessed here

Business Reformer of the year 2008-09 - Nitish Kumar

Another feather in Nitish Kumar's cap was added when he was declared the Business Reformer of the year 2008-09. Nitish was choosen over Sheila Dixit who has been credit with good development work in Delhi.

The article states that "Ending Lalu Prasad Yadav family’s 15-year reign, Nitish Kumar became the chief minister, with a promise to turn the state around. Three years on, Mr Kumar seems to be on track, although Bihar might take a while to show results. "

As per the article, Nitish Kumar wants to make Bihar a developed state by 2015. The article appreciates Nitish for the good start made in the areas of employment generation and infrastructure development.

More details can be found in the article ET Awards 2008-09: Business Reformer of the Year- Nitish Kumar

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