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Bihar Railway Projects: Woefully Inadequate Funding


Prateek K Anand

(BiharTimes)Early last month, a review meeting of railway board exposed grossly inadequate funding available for railway projects in Bihar. Acute shortage of funding has led to even curtailment of current year’s targets. Though zonal officials highlighted the shortages of fund for various projects, there has been no specific assurance from railway board on meeting these requirements. A comparison with Eastern Zone on the funding availability exposes railway to charges of political apathy. While most of the railway projects in Bihar are underfunded so much so that they are likely to miss the current year’s target, there has been no single such instance in case of West Bengal across any of the three railway zones covering it. Details given here under can be an eye opener for various stakeholders in the development of Bihar.

SN Project Name
Target Date
Assessment of Zonal Railway Offcials
1 Biraul - Kusheshwarasthan(16 Km), part of Sakri-Hasanpur Road
(76 Km)
(i) Construction of bridge No.41 is to be expedited. Tenders for major
bridge, track works need to be expedited. Land of bird sanctuary has
been acquired and now issue has been raised that work could not be
done in sanctioning area.
(ii) Rs.15 crore extra is required.
2 Runisaidpur-Jubbasahani (30 Km) part
of Muzaffarpur-Sitamarhi-NL (64.512
Feb., 2011
Sand blowing has been taking place in the wells on river Bhagmati. 2
girders out of 18 have already been launched.
3 Sitamarhi - Bairgania ( 28 Km) part of Jaynagar -Darbhanga-Narkatiaganj -
( 268 Km)
Sept., 2010
Railway expressed requirement of addl. Fund of Rs.50 crore besides
allotment of ballast rakes from Pakur area to adhere to the targets
4 Karhagola - Kursela ( 16 Km) part of Kursela - Semapur ( 34 Km)
Dec., 2010
Railway confirmed to complete the work by Dec., 2010.
5 Umeshnagar - Khagaria ( 7 Km), part of Begusarai - Khagaria (40.23 Km)
Dec., 2010
Track linking is in progress and doubling shall be completed by Dec.,
6 Begusarai - Lakho ( 6 Km), part of Begusaria - Khagaria
(40.23 Km).
Planning was discussed and it was agreed that linking etc. will be
expedited by Railway to complete the project by Jan., 2011.
7 Nawadih -Dhanwar (15 KM) (Part of Koderma-Giridih-102.5km. NL)
Feb., 2011
Planning was discussed and accordingly target was firmed for Feb., 2011.
8 Barkakana-Kuju ( 15 Km) (Part of
Kodermar-Ranchi NL 200 Km)
Railway confirmed to complete all the works in 3rd qtr. To complete the
Project by Nov., 2010.
9 Phulwarisharif-Patliputra (6 Km) (Part of Patna Ganga Bridge Project 19 Km)
Progress of ROB at Belur Road was discussed and accordingly target of
Jan'11 was confirmed.
10 Targena-Jehanabad (15.2 Km)
(Part of Patna -Gaya-92 Km DL)
Work on major bridges are in progress and target of Dec., 2010 was
firmed up. Rs. 20 crore extra is required.
11 Daniawan-Biharsharif (38.28 Km)
Will spill over.
Land acquisiton of 2 villaged has not been done for want of chakbandi
map due to which work cannot be completed in 2010-11.
12 Bela-Jehanabad (27 Km)
(Part of Patna -Gaya-92 Km DL). This section has been taken up in liew of Daniawan-Biharsharif (38.28 km.)
March, 2011
In view of progress ECR proposed for completion in lieu of Daniawan-
Biharsharif (38.28 km). Rs.35 crore extra will be required.
13 Kuju-Mandu (10.5 Km) (Part of
Koderma-Ranchi NL 200 Km). This section has been taken up in liew of Daniawan-Biharsharif (38.28 km.)
March, 2011
In view of progress ECR proposed for completion in lieu of Daniawan-
Biharsharif (38.28 km)
14 Kaptanganj - Thawe (99 kms) of
March, 2011
To complete 99 km additional fund about Rs.130 crore is required. It was
finalised that 50 km may be planned in first phase in view of progress of
work and fund position. Ballast tenders should be finalised on priority.
15 Mahrajganj – Bishunpur Mahuari (5 kms) of Mahrajganj - Mashrakh
Feb., 2011
(i) Land in about 1.5 km under dispute which needs to be closley
(ii) CAO/C, NER apprised that upto 19 km can be completed during the
(iii) Land for extension 19 km except 3.5 km has been acquired.
16 Bathua Bazar – Panchdeori (11 kms) of Hathua - Bhatni
under review due to
land acquisition.
Problem in land acquisition arising due to demand for employment by
local people in these 17 villages.
17 Katihar-Tejnarayanpur
(34 Km)
Dec., 2010
CAO/C apprised that land acquisition in 4 locations and RDSO inspection
of welded girders will require expedition for meeting the targets.
Additional fund of Rs.35 crore will be required for meeting the targets.


As can be seen from the above chart, as many as six out of 16 projects (as highlighted in yellow background) are facing the burnt of  inadequate funding. Three others have been affected by land acquisition problem (highlighted in light pink background). It is not that Bihar government is completely overboard. Mr. Nitish Kumar may go on expressing hope that Daniyawan-Barbigha route work is expedited by railways, but in claiming all this he seems to be oblivious of the actual facts.  Specifically, in case of Daniawan-Biharsharif Route, Government of Bihar is at fault as well.
In remaining seven cases, only two can be considered specific to Bihar as others are connected to North East regions connectivity requirement or with Jharkhand state. So what is it Minister of State for Railways Mr. Muniyappa is claiming?  When at fault, one should keep at least mum. However, it seems UPA II ministers are out to brazen it out. They should learn a bit of tact from Mr Nitish Kumar who realizing his own fault in these matters, is happy to explore possible co-existence with Ms. Mamata Banerjee rather than challenging her on these issues.
Further, railway seems to have put 14 projects of Bihar on the backburner in the name of public private partnership as given in the following chart. Only that, it is difficult to understand how private investors could be interested in these ‘Socially Desirable Projects’. Here again, not a single rail route from West Bengal has either been classified as socially desirable or put out for PPP mode.

SN Project Name
Route KM
Estimated Cost
1 Ara-Bhabua Road New Line
2 Araria-Galgalia (Thakurganj) New Line
3 Araria-Supaul New Line
4 Bihta-Aurangabad New Line
5 Chhitauni-Tumkuhi Road New Line
6 Dehri on Sone-Banjari New Line
7 Gaya-Daltonganj via Rafiganj New Line
8 Jalalgarh-Kishanganj New Line
9 Kursela-Bihariganj New Line
10 Motihari-Sitamarhi New Line
11 Muzaffarpur-Darbhanga New Line
12 Muzaffarpur-Katra-Orai-Janakpur Road New Line
13 Nawada-Laxmipur New Line
14 Sitamarhi-Jayanagar-Nirmali via Susand New Line

From the above figures, it is apparent that Bihar’s heydays in relation to railway infrastructure is finally over. Ms. Mamata Banerjee is not only unconcerned about Bihar specific projects, but in fact has been vindictive to say the least. Moving out of OSD Khushi Ram from the proposed divisional HQ at Bhagalpur exemplifies the same attitude. Moreover, she seems to have completely forgotten about Dehri High Capacity Freight Bogie project or for that matter workshop projects at Garkha, Sonepur and Garhara. In any case, she does not claim to champion interest of any other state than West Bengal.  And yes, in all this, people’s representatives from Bihar are found to beconveniently napping. Given all these circumstances, it is no wonder that railway projects in Bihar are so hopelessly delayed.



Keep up with your good writings about Bihar's eternal problems.

Mahesh Jha


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