Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of various projects worth over ₹1.64 lakh crore on March 2 during his Bihar visit, including expansion of Barauni refinery expansion and fertiliser plant as well as ramping up railway infrastructure.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Aurangabad and Begusarai districts on March 2, which is his first visit to Bihar after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed the government with JD (U) in January. Besides, the announcement of polling dates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections is likely in the next fortnight.

The majority of the projects, which are spread across the country including Bihar, are from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG), Ministry of Fertilisers and Indian Railways, sources said.

Oil and Gas

In a rare instance, the Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone and inaugurate various MoPNG’s projects worth almost ₹1.50 lakh crore, spread across Bihar, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Karnataka.

Sources said that this is one of the few instances where such a large number of critical oil and gas projects are being launched by a Prime Minister.

In the petroleum sector, a total of 39 projects worth ₹1,49,823 crore are being inaugurated or foundation stones being laid. Of this, Modi will inaugurate 29 projects and will lay the foundation stone of another 10.

Of this, projects worth more than ₹15,000 crore are for Bihar, which includes foundation laying of the capacity expansion project of Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) Barauni refinery from the current 6 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 9 MTPA along-with secondary process units including petrochemical at an estimated cost of ₹11,412 crore. The project will be completed by December 2024.

Another critical project is the inauguration of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation’s (HPCL) Visakh Refinery Modernisation Project (VRMP) to modernise and enhance capacity of the Visakh refinery at Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) with an investment of Rs 26,264 crore.

Modi will also lay the foundation stone for capacity expansion of IOC’s Panipat (Haryana) refinery from 15 MTPA to 25 MTPA at an approved cost of ₹38,231 crore. The project is expected to be completed by December 2025.

Railway infrastructure

Modi will inaugurate as well as lay the foundation stone of railway projects worth more than ₹4,700 crore.

The Prime Minister will inaugurate the Narkatiaganj–Gaunaha gauge conversion, which will enhance connectivity of Narkatiaganj, which borders Nepal, in West Champaran district.

Modi will also dedicate to the nation the gauge conversion of the Raghopur–Forbesganj line that enhances connectivity to North eastern states through the densely populated economically backward area.

Another important project is the inauguration of the doubling of the Hajipur–Bachhwara line, which will reduce the traffic burden on the over-saturated Patna-Mokama section.

In a gift to north Bihar, the Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation the doubling of the of Hajipur–Ramdayalu Nagar rail line that will clear a major operational bottleneck for traffic going towards Patna and Delhi from North Bihar.

The Prime Minister will also inaugurate Hindustan Urvarak & Rasayan’s (HURL) Barauni fertiliser plant in Begusarai district, which manufactures urea with a capacity of 12.7 lakh tonnes per annum. The project’s cost was more than ₹9,500 crore.