| Chief minister Nitish Kumar interacts with other guests at the NIT alumni meet on Sunday. Telegraph picture |
Chief minister Nitish Kumar’s love and respect for his alma mater, Bihar College of Engineering (BCE), prevent him from missing any opportunity to visit it and Sunday was no exception.
Taking time out of his busy schedule, Nitish, an alumnus of the 1973 batch, visited the BCE, now known as National Institute of Technology (NIT), to take part in the alumni meet, though he was a little late. The chief minister was scheduled to reach the institute around 1pm, but as time passed and no clear-cut information came from the chief minister’s secretariat, the organisers and guests started thinking that Nitish would skip the meet this time.
However, around 3pm, the CM’s secretariat informed the alumni association that Nitish had left for the NIT. Around 3.20pm, Nitish reached his alma mater.
Recalling his college days in the presence of a large gathering of teachers, students and visiting alumni, including Ratan Kumar Sinha, the Atomic Energy Commission of India (AECI) chairman and a passout of the 1966 batch, Nitish said: “It is a matter of pride for an institution like BCE/NIT to have produced many layaks (bright students), who currently hold senior positions like Sinha. However, at the same time, some nalayak (not serious) students like me believed in attending college more than attending classes.”
The gathering burst into laughter.
A proud Nitish said: “My government, as promised to the NIT administration, has given 100 acres at Bihta for setting up a new campus. Now, the ball is in the court of the NIT administration to speed up construction work.”
NIT-Patna director Asok De highlighted the expansion plans of his institute. Seven toppers of the current batch were felicitated with gold medals.
Before the chief minister arrived, AECI chairman Sinha, the guest of honour, hinted at AECI plans to set up a nuclear power plant in Bihar.
Sinha said: “The proposal for setting up a nuclear power plant in Bihar is still under AECI’s consideration. Last week, our department received a fresh proposal from the state government for setting up the plant. But for that, three parameters are vital — availability of water and land and the area should not be in a high seismic zone.
Sources said a few years back, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited had proposed setting up a 4x700MW nuclear power plant at Rajauli in Nawada district. But unavailability of adequate water proved a stumbling block.
Sinha said apart from Rajauli, the state government has also suggested names of three other sites where the nuclear power plant could be set up. Sources said that the state government, in view of the serious coal crisis, has renewed its plea for setting up a nuclear power plant at Rajauli.