Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off three rail projects in Bihar on Tuesday to mark the concluding ceremony of the Champaran Satyagraha centenary celebrations at Motihari. The projects include India’s first 12,000 horsepower high-speed electric locomotive under the Make-in-India project.

PM’s visit comes at a time when relations between the JD(U) and BJP have frayed following the violence during Ram Navami celebrations and over the Nitish Kumar-led party’s demand for special category status for Bihar.

 Loco factory in Madhepura

Modi dedicated the Madhepura Electric Rail Locomotive factory to the nation. With the induction, India will join an elite list of countries, including Russia, China, Germany and Sweden, that have 12,000 HP and above capacity electric locomotives.Till now, the most powerful electric engine in India was of 6,000 HP.

A joint venture between Indian Railways and French manufacturing firm Alstom, the loco factory in Madhepura has a capacity to manufacture 110 loco per annum.

Champaran Humsafar Express

PM Modi also flagged off a train between Katihar and Old Delhi. The Champaran Humsafar Express will run between Katihar and Old Delhi. According to an official statement, the Champaran Humsafar Express will facilitate a comfortable, faster and safer journey experience to common people of North Bihar. Covering a distance of 1,383 km, the train will run bi-weekly – Tuesdays and Fridays.

Track-doubling project 

He laid the foundation stone of a project for doubling of Muzzafarpur-Sagauli (100.6 km) and Sagauli-Valmikinagar sections (109.7 km). Muzzafarpur-Sagauli and Sagauli-Valmikinagar — the two sections are being built at an estimated cost of Rs 2,401 crore. They will cover districts of Muzaffarnagar, East Champaran and West Champaran.  The project was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in February 2018.

The prime minister was also here to spread the message of Swachh Bharat, on the occasion of Champaran Satyagraha centenary celebrations. He fecilitated Swachhagrahis (ambassadors of cleanliness movement) with a shawl and Rs 51,000 cash award.

Along with PM Modi, Union Water Minister Uma Bharti, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Bihar deputy CM Sushil Modi were also present on the occasion. Speaking at the ceremony Nitish Kumar lauded the Swachh Bharat mission and spoke of Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha movement. Sanjhauli in Bihar’s Rohtas district was named the first Open Defecation Free (ODF) block in the state under the Swachh Bharat Mission in 2016.

The PM is also expected to unveil four sewerage projects in Patna. Together, the plants will have a sewage-treatment capacity of 60 million litres daily under Clean Ganga programme.