Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced that the state’s second zoo would be set up in Rajgir in Nalanda district keeping in mind the huge flow of tourists. This decision has given one more weapon to the critics of Nitish Kumar who accuse him of being obsessed with the Nalanda, his home district. According to the Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly Abdul Bari Siddiqui
“Everything, right from medical college, universities, technical colleges, power projects, factories and even the airport, is moving towards Nalanda. I will not mind if the state capital is shifted back to Rajgir,” he added.
The capital of Magadh Empire was shifted from Rajgir to Patliputra, Patna During the 6th century BC . Several people believe that Nitish Kumar is reverting that decision now. All roads are leading back to Nalanda.
Several mega projects are coming up in and around the periphery of Rajgir. The Barh super thermal power plant, estimated to cost over Rs 20,000 crore, is expected to start production in 2013. The Harnaut coach maintenance factory, a project initiated by Nitish, is the only railway venture in the state that would be operational soon.
The Nalanda International University has over 450 acres of acquired land and an equal amount to be further acquired. Several countries have already pledged funds for the project.
The Rajgir ordnance factory started with gusto during George Fernandes’s tenure as defense minister and estimated to cost Rs 7,500 crore will now cost much higher, more than Rs 20,000 crore. Other important projects are: the second largest training camp for paramilitary forces in India, the state’s only adventure sports venue, a medical college, engineering colleges and an IT institute.
If all the projects come up, around Rs 75,000 crore would have been pumped into the entire area. It would trigger a large number of private investments as well. There will be a huge concentration of professionals earning five-digit and even six-digit salaries living in this area. Rajgir will have as much money per square inch as that in Bangalore. The profile of the entire zone is going to change — from a potato-growing area to a centre of factories, knowledge hubs and industrialization. It already has great potential for tourism so a fabulous place to invest.
A person coming to Nalanda after a gap of five years will not recognize the place. Villages have been connected with three roads, dilapidated buildings have been renovated and transformed into imposing buildings and when all the projects come up, a little less than one lakh people will be employed. These projects would not only help the people of Nalanda but the entire state
Recently, the government offered land for the new airport in Bihar in Silaw, which is again in Nalanda. Kumar however stressed that it was done only because land was not available in Patna.