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 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013 and Expectations from Bihar in 2013

Dear Friends,
I want to wish you and all your families a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year. I hope this year brings a lot of joy and happiness in your families.

I also wish that the next round of improvements in Bihar start taking place this year. All of us know that there have been significant strides made in turning around Bihar. However there are big problems still lying in the areas of

  1. Bureaucracy - A lot of people are focused in making money (read black money) for themselves and are not effectively doing their work.
  2. Police - Doesn't still seem to be taking up any rightful work without asking for a bribe. (An example mentioned below)
  3. Judiciary - Most cases keep taking ages to resolve because either the judges don't turn up for hearings or keep dragging the cases unnecessarily. The same is the case with the District Magistrates (DMs). (I know that this is happening now because I am myself going through this for the last 7 years)
  4. Education - The teachers really need to be trained to deliver. First round saw lots of teachers getting appointed. The next round is the improvement of these teachers' quality.
I hope enough focus is put on these 4 areas this year without which the changes in the lives of local people will not happen. The next phase of Bihar's development will require a revamp in all the above areas.

Example email of the situation in Bihar:



Cool Bihari [Bihar's - Change in Destiny and Progress] Bihar Progress Report 2012

mukesh singh Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Reply-To: coolbihari@yahoogroups.co.in
To: "coolbihari@yahoogroups.co.in"



PrashantJi,

   Nice to see the reports, painting nice pictures of Bihar but reality is different. Of course it is better than Lalu era, but not as good as it is projected in our groups or Media.
I was there a month before for Diwali and Chhath and I can cite just 2 incidents.

1. To lodge an FIR for mobile missing(to get same number), my brother has to pay 200 rupees. Yes he was able to pull SP number from website talk to somebody on that and got student concession rate as 200. [ Real rate may go up]. [ It was in Hajipur]
2. In my village we got electricity, first time AFAIK, but it is only for BPL family. You can't become consumer and only option is left to get unauthorized connection. Due to load people are buying Community Transformer since normal transformer are of 16 KB which can't take much load. My brother has complained to everyone including chief minister (seems there was some website for it), but results are same.

I don't say things didn't changed, roads are good overall mood in village is that in corruption front it is becoming worse than Laloo era, specially in Teachers appointment, people told me that loopholes were put in this to benefit Mukhiya and other official officials ..

My experience may be one off but just wanted to share ...


Mukesh's experience highlights some of the problems that still exist today and needs focus and willpower to bring in these changes by the people and by the Government of Bihar. 

May Bihar Win:

Prashant (www.progressivebihar.com)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Apathy in taking up tourism projects : Case in point - Tutla

The state tourism department keeps announcing new tourism projects all the time. However, how many of them are really being executed is a big question in my mind.

In February of 2009, when the then Union Minister of State , Kanti Singh, had visited Bihar , he had ambitiously announced that Tutla waterfalls would be developed as a major eco and adventure tourism site of international importance. (Read India's Own Grand Canyon - Tutla (Tutala) Waterfalls)

Today after almost 4 years, there is no news or progress in developing the Tutla waterfalls. Forget any progress, there are still no pictures available of Tutla that is spread over 240 sq kms.

But the apathy doesn't end there. As I understand, the Central Tourism ministry will only take up projects when the state tourism department sends a proposal to the center. However, Bihar's tourism department did not think that its worth taking up such a project proposal across. Amazing that no one has thought of putting together such a proposal that too for a place which had tremendous tourism potential.

Over the last 1.5 years, I have written atleast 8 times to various tourism ministers at state and center, tourism secretaries, Chief Minister, Chief Minister's secretaries, PAs, etc but have not received a response ever from anyone except from Mr. Sandeep Kumar, who is the PS to the current Tourism Minister of State. His response was  - Has the state govt sent any proposal?

Beyond that nothing. This was in September of 2011. Subsequent messages to the various people did not yield in any responses.

If this is the way the tourism department works in Bihar, then Bihar will never be able to capitalize on the tourism potential it possesses. And tourism is the 2nd most important avenue for Bihar's growth after agriculture. Do we really need bureaucrats like the current, who are inactive and cannot even take through identified projects in 4 years time. Infact the entire bureaucracy needs a revamp... It appears that most of them are not seeing my mails (so not responding) or are just ineffective or  are not doing their work. The list of people that I have written to are
 
Sandeep Kumar
PS to MoS - Center
tourismminister@nic.in
Minister of Tourism - Center
Sultan Ahmed
MoS Tourism - Central
S. K. Pintu
Bihar Minister for Tourism
secytourismbihar@yahoo.com
Tourism Secretary - Bihar
directortourismbihar@gmail.com
Director Tourism - Bihar
jd.tourism1@gmail.com
Joint Director Tourism - Bihar
dy.directortourism@gmail.com
Dy. Director Tourism – Bihar
Ghufran Ahmad
Assistant Director - Tourism (Bihar)
Priteshwar Prasad
Assistant Director - Tourism (Bihar)

And then follow-ups with the following

Nitish Kumar
CM of Bihar
cms-secy-bih@nic.in
Chief Minister's Secretary
gc-cms-bih@nic.in
Public Grievance Cell – Bihar
ps1-cms-bih@nic.in
Private Secretary to CM


Snapshots of my mails are as follows:

Email 1

Prashant Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 11:33 PM
To: Tourism Minister, Sultan Ahmed, Sandeep Kumar

Dear Sirs,
I had read about an article sometime back when the erstwhile Tourism Minister of State had announced that Tutla Waterfalls will be developed as a Tourist destination and it was the Grand Canyon of India. This happened on Feb 10, 2009. I was trying to find out information on the progress of this project but could not find any further information on this , hence writing to you.

Would it be possible to get an update on the project?
Will appreciate to get any feedback on this.

Regards
Prashant

Email 2

Sandeep Kumar 
Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 8:59 PM
Reply-To: Sandeep Kumar 
To: "Prashant"
Has the state govt sent any proposal?
Sent from my Nokia phone
-----Original Message-----
From: Prashant
Sent:  21/09/2011, 1:12  AM
To: Tourism Minister, Sultan Ahmed, Sandeep Kumar
Subject: Re: Tutla Water falls - Status


Hi,
I was hoping to hear back on this. Do let me know.

Regards
Prashant

On Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 11:33 PM, Prashant  wrote:

 Dear Sirs,
 I had read about an article sometime back when the erstwhile Tourism
 Minister of State had announced that Tutla Waterfalls will be developed as a
 Tourist destination and it was the Grand Canyon of India. This happened on
 Feb 10, 2009. I was trying to find out information on the progress of this
 project but could not find any further information on this , hence writing
 to you.


 http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-02-10/patna/28010413_1_mundeshwari-union-minister-site


 Would it be possible to get an update on the project?

 Will appreciate to get any feedback on this.

 Regards
 Prashant
Email 3


Prashant Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 5:42 PM

To: Nitish Kumar

Cc: Grievance Cell - Bihar, Private Secretary to CM
No replies from anyone.

-----


On Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 1:04 PM, Prashant  wrote:
Dear Nitishji,
While I know you are very busy on getting the special status and necessary support from the center to accelerate Bihar's development, there are areas that need focus like tourism which can help continue the growth of Bihar while we wait for more industries to come.

I was very excited about the Tutla Water falls project when it was reported in Feb 2009 as it seemed to have an immense potential not only to attract foreign tourists but domestic tourists as well. However, I am dismayed to see that there was no follow up done by either the Bihar tourism ministry or Center's tourism ministry. The center was expecting a proposal from Bihar for Tutla's development and apparently that proposal has not gone. I had written a couple of mails to various people in the ministries and I did get a reply only from Sandeep Kumar (part of Center's tourism department) asking whether the Bihar government had sent across the proposal, but did not get any other response.

I think some of these areas do have a strong potential and just requires focus. Whether people reply to me or not is immaterial as long as the work continues. I wanted to bring this to your notice as it often helps drive development across Bihar.

Thanks
Prashant




---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Prashant
Date: Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 3:19 PM
Subject: Re: Tutla Water falls - Status
To:Tourism Minister – Central, Sultan Ahmed, Sandeep Kumar, S. K. Pintu, Tourism Secretary – Bihar, Director Tourism – Bihar, Joint Director Tourism – Bihar, Dy. Director Tourism – Bihar, Ghfran Ahmad (Asst Dir – Tourism, Bihar), Priteshwar (Asst Dir- Tourism, Bihar)

I haven't had a response in almost a year. Can any of you senior people respond to my query on Tutla Waterfalls please.

Thanks
Prashant



What can I say. The Tourism department needs to become agile and focussed. And so do the others in the bureaucracy. Otherwise Bihar will still remain the 8th or 9th state in the ranks of the number of tourists visiting Bihar, whereas it has the potential to becoming one amongst the Top 5 states.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Improvement in Services - Healthcare leads the pack

A survey carried out by A. C. Nielsen suggests that people are feeling happy with the improvement in core serivces in Bihar.  The result of the survey carried out by A. C. Nielsen states that 86% of the surveyed people are satisfied with the improvement in health facilities in Bihar. The survey, however doesn't indicate the sample size of people who were surveyed, so it is difficult to state if this is a Pan Bihar phenomenon and represents Bihar as a whole or whether this is restricted to some region or areas of Bihar. One good thing is that its carried out in rural Bihar.

#
Service (Improvement  in quality of service in the last 4 years)
Percentage people satisfied
1
Health Services
86%
2
Certificates
77%
3
Schools
76%
4
Services related to pension
76%
5
Ration shops under Public Distribution System (PDS)
72%
6
Anganwadis
71%
7
MGNREGS
86%
8
Grievance redressal
36%

Thus people feel that in general there is improvement in the services in last 4 years which is a good sign that shows that development is happening and people are perceiving the developments.

This and more details can be found in the Economic Times article "Healthcare improves in Rural Bihar - Study"

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tourism Status in Bihar ( As of the End of October 2012)

The tourism data released by the Government of India at the end of October 2012 shows that the total number of tourists visiting Bihar in the 1st 10 months of this year was 1.95 crores which was about the same number of tourists that visited Bihar in the complete year 2011. This is about a 20% increase in the number of tourists that visited Bihar in 2011. However the number of foreign tourists that visited Bihar remains flat and roughly the same number of tourists will visit Bihar in 2012 as they did in 2011.

The below table represents the total number of tourists that have visited Bihar in the last 9 years and is courtesy the Tourism Website of Bihar.

Year
Total Domestic Tourists
Total Foreign Tourists
Total Tourists
2012 (First 10 months)
1,88,00,000
7,93,000
1,95,93,000
2011 (Jan. TO Dec)
1,83,97,490
9,72,487
1,93,69,977
2010 (Jan. To Dec)
1,57,87,256
4,92,913
1,62,80,169
2009 (Jan. To Dec)
1,57,84,679
4,23,042
1,62,07,721
2008 (Jan. To Dec)
1,18,89,611
3,45,572
1,22,35,183
2007 (Jan. To Dec)
1,03,52,887
1,77,362
1,05,30,249
2006 (Jan. To Dec)
1,06,70,268
94,446
1,07,64,714
2005 (Jan. To Dec)
86,87,220
63,321
87,50,541
2004 (Jan. To Dec)
81,35,574
38,118
81,73,692

These numbers varying slightly as you see different government sites and publications but is a fairly accurate representation of the number of tourists who have visited Bihar in the last 9 years.

Further information on the 2012 data can be found in the Times of India article "1.95cr tourists visit Bihar in 10months of 2012"

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