Bihar on Saturday formed the world’s longest human chain to show their support for liquor ban. The human chain started from the Gandhi Maidan and it was over 11,292 km long with almost two crore people.
The participants held each other’s hand on the main route and sub-routes within the districts including Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.
Five satellites (two satellites of ISRO for capturing images of Gandhi Maidan in Patna and three more for other districts), 38 drones (one drone in each district to make a video film of 15 minutes) and four small aircraft were used to take the images of this 45-minute event. The Bihar government has spent Rs 10 crore on the preparations for the event.
Earlier on Thursday, the Division Bench of the Patna High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Sudhir Singh, CS Anjani Kumar Singh and DGP P.K. Thakur said the participation of school children and teachers were not mandatory.
The traffic was stopped from 10 am to 3 pm. The chain was held from 12:15 pm to 1 pm and Nitish Kumar was present at the Gandhi Maidan where the participants formed a large Bihar map.
A senior official in the education department said, “We planned 2,000 people for every kilometre, even though 1,000 were sufficient. There is no chance that the chain on the main route — national and state highways — will break anywhere even if some people don’t turn up.”
All the senior officials including the secretary in-charge of every district and ministers in-charge moved to their respective districts by Thursday to inspect the last minute preparations. At first, the government planned to cover all the 8,466 gram panchayats and also the steering committee at panchayat, block and district levels.
On the main route (3,00,07 km), there was at least 58 lakh people who formed the chain. Another 1.58 crore formed the chain on the sub-route (7,112 km).
The chains were coming from north and south Bihar and joined at the bridges; Vikramshila Setu, Mahatma Gandhi Setu and Rajendra Setu. The participants stood on the left side of the road and on every 200 metre there was one supervisor to monitor the chain.
The Congress, the JD (U) and the RJD also sent thousands of their workers to participate in the chain. Also, the BJP supported the human chain and party president Nityanand Rai said the BJP members participated in the chain.
After the formation of the human chain, the Bihar government launched a ‘nasha-mukt’ (addiction-free) state campaign.
The education department officials said the Guinness World Records has denied gauging the human chain for inclusion in world records due to technical issues. However, a team from Limca Book of Records will be in Patna to assess this to add it to its list of world records.