The ambitious plan of the Samyukta Janata Dal (JDU) and BJP coalition government in Bihar, ‘Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal’, has come to light.
The ambitious plan of the Samyukta Janata Dal (JDU) and BJP coalition government in Bihar, ‘Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal’, has come to light. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced this scheme 5 years ago saying that water will be supplied to every household. The scheme was considered a success as almost 95 per cent of the declared water supply target in 1.08 lakh panchayat wards has been completed. However, it has come to light that the contracts for this scheme have been awarded only to the family and supporters of Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad. In the last 4 months of the Indian Express, many facts have come to light. It also seems to be tarnishing Nitish Kumar’s image of ‘good governance’ (Exclusive information about Bihar tap water scheme and conflict of interest).
Relatives and political supporters of Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad have won contracts worth about Rs 53 crore due to political interference in the land implementation of the scheme, which provides tap connections in Bihar. Government documents of the scheme were examined in about 20 districts under the auspices of the Indian Express. It also includes documents from the Registrar of Companies (RoC) and the Department of Public Health Engineering (PHED). Under this, visits were also made to the work place where Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal Yojana is being implemented. It also interacted with contractors, workers and citizens who have benefited from water taps.
Work on 35 projects to the relatives and colleagues of the Deputy Chief Minister
According to a study of government documents, in 2019-20, PHED implemented 35 projects for drinking water scheme. This included 9 panchayats in Katihar district. Pooja Kumari, daughter-in-law of Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad and two companies of Mevhuna Pradeep Kumar Bhagat got the work of these 35 projects. Apart from this, Prasad’s colleagues Prashant Chandra Jaiswal, Lalit Kishore Prasad and Santosh Kumar have also got some contracts for this work. Deputy Chief Minister Prasad has been elected as MLA for the last 4 times from the same constituency in Katihar district.
Allegation of awarding contracts without work experience
In some of the contracts, it has been revealed that Tarkishore Prasad’s family members got direct contracts. According to the documents, the works of all 13 wards of Bhavda Panchayat in Katihar district were given to the companies of Pooja Kumari and Pradeep Kumar. Even some of the officials implementing the scheme, on condition of anonymity, told Pooja Kumari that she had no previous experience in the field.
Denial of allegations by Tarkishore Prasad
While trying to understand the side of Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad after the findings of the Indian Express investigative journalism, he has denied all the allegations. It also claimed that there was no political interference in awarding contracts for the scheme. In any case, Prasad himself has admitted that his daughter-in-law got work contracts in 4 wards. However, he claimed that he had no connection with the other two companies. In one of the two companies, his brother-in-law is on the board.
Prasad’s daughter-in-law Pooja Kumari has refrained from responding to the allegations against him. Although she contacted her husband and Deputy Chief Minister’s son Amit Kumar, she declined to comment.
Exclusive information about Bihar tap water scheme and conflict of interest