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.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Another award for Nitish Kumar - Polio Eradication Champion Award

Nitish Kumar became the 3rd Indian after PM Manmohan Singh and Rajashree Birla of Birla group to be conferred the Polio Eradication Champion Award by the Rotary International’s Polio Plus Committee.

Nitish Kumar joined the likes of US president Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton, UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon and his predecessor Kofi Annan, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and many others who have received this award before.

In his acceptance speech Nitish Kumar said "“I feel honoured to receive this award which is not my personal achievement, but it is for Bihar and all those involved in polio eradication campaign."

Rotary International’s Polio Plus Committee Chairman Robert S. Scott said that 2006 was declared Year of Immunization in Bihar and by 2008 the state made tremendous progress in polio eradication campaign. He said that 99 per cent children were immunized which he said was a major achievement.

Bihar is an endemic state and till date has 111 polio cases: 38 of P1 type and 73 of P3 type. Nitish said, in 2007 there were 459 cases of P3 and 46 of P1 type.

The full article in Times of India can be read at Polio Eradication Champion Award for Nitish

Vote - "Indian of the Year 2009" on NDTV

NDTV poll is on for choosing the Indian of the year 2009. Those who want to vote should do so at the following link.

http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/new/VOTEINDIANOFTHEYEAR2009.ASPX

Mr. Nitish Kumar is one of the 5 nominees from the political field.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Strengthening the judiciary and the dispute resolution system.

We have made substantial progress in improving the law and order situation in many parts of Bihar. The intial efforts saw a lot of sweeping changes like reduced street crimes, reduced kidnappings, etc. People once again are gaining confidence to walk outside, for example on certain roads of Patna even after 7PM in the evening.

The next step requires more efforts, the results are not likely to be visible immediately but are very critical in improving the overall fabric of justice in Bihar. I am talking about strengthening the Judiciary and the mechanisms for dispute resolution; I am talking about faster resolution of cases in the judicial courts, courts of DMs (District Magistrates) or any other formal places of justice.

Often I find that because judiciary is week and habitually corrupt, many cases keep on dragging for a long time... Many times the cases just drags along even without any hearing happening... Dates are assigned for hearing a case and because of some reason or the other, the hearing doesn't happen on the assigned date.

Infact my family is also currently undergoing this where some part of a property we own was fradulently sold by someone to someone else and the buyer even managed to get this registered even though the property was in our name and we were no where close when this transaction happened. Over 3.5 years back, we have registered a case in the court of the DM who has the authority to resolve the problem, and with all the necessary documentation and evidence available the case can be resolved in 1-2 hearings only. But it has hardly made any progress. And for over a year now (maybe even 2), we just keep getting dates and for some reason or the other the hearing doesn't happen on the assigned date and we get a new date. And over the course of these 3.5 years, the DM at this place has changed thrice, thus compounding the problem.

Hence by this example I wanted to re-iterate that the government has to bring back the people's confidence, that has been lost, in the judicial system of Bihar.

It is also time for the government to focus on this aspect of improved governance and timely justice which are essential for an upcoming and developing economy to have so as to be able to attract increased investments and people's interest in developing Bihar.

One news article which caught my eyes and prompted me to share my thoughts above, was the article titled 300 crorepati babus in Bihar! This article talks about how 300 government employees earning modest salaries have become crorepatis by taking bribes and participating in underhand activities and how even though 71 such babus were caught by the state vigillance bureau till last month, only two have been fired while the rest continue to hold on to their secured jobs, continue to make their bribes and continue to stall the process of justice in their cases (and we can all guess what this delay can be attributed to). If the judiciary and the dispute resolution mechanism is strengthened, such babus will be punished faster sending out the right signals to all the other corrupt officials in the state, thus reducing the level of corruption across the state.

Nitish Kumar ji: An area where the law ministry has to focus on.

Signs of progress

It pleases me to no end when I hear or read about something related to Bihar which further indicates that Bihar is making progress. I just read one such article which spoke about two situations that re-inforced the view that Bihar is making progress.

On wednesday (2nd December 2009), the BCC (Bihar Chamber of Commerce) invited the police for an interraction with its members. Representing the police department was Patna Zone IGP Mr. P. N. Rai. Such interractions are organized periodically where the BCC members tell about the problems they are facing to the police. Anybody can guess what the majority of the problems highlighted at these meetings in the last decade or more would have been... yes ... extortions and kidnappings... i.e. rangdari....

But this wednesday's meeting was very different. Instead of talking about rangdari, the BCC members were discussing traffic problems and traffic jams in Patna... Different... isn't it? Gone are they days when the main item on the agenda was rangdari... infact former BCC president Mr. Yugeshwar Pandey told the IGP "It is a compliment to your policing that we are not talking about `rangdari' which has almost ended". Now that people, who can effect changes, are free from worrying about extortions and saving themselves from kidnappings, they can focus on other developmental issues ... like the one about traffic jams in Patna...

I like this... it is a sure sign of a changing and progressing Bihar...

A second sign of progress is that the number of vehicles has increased 4 times in the last 4 years. Gone are they days when you would hear of someone's new car being hijacked or snatched as the owner drove the car from the showroom to his home. And then all of us know the long circulating humour about where that the car was likely to be found... At the house of the very politician friend whom the owner of the car would approach for help in finding his car.

Obviously, in the last 2 decades, given the way Bihar was deteriorating, no one thought that we could have a situation of traffic jams because of increased vehicles in Patna so quickly. But now that the increase in vehicles has become a reality, it is important to improve the infrastructure in Patna and other places as these places showcase Bihar's development opportunity and it would not look good for Bihar if potential investors land into traffic jams even before the industrial revolution in Bihar takes off.

While the police, BCC and other institutions think of ways to tackle this growing traffic situation, we should also do our bit for improving the traffic conditions in Bihar... like parking at proper places and not in the middle of the road, obeying traffic rules and not defying any of the traffic signals, listening to the traffic havaldar or inspector, etc. These small small changes from everyone will go a long way in making a strong and beautiful Bihar.

The article I refer to was published in The Times of India and can be found at " Traffic snarls, not crime, worry traders now" for those who are interested in getting more details.

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