PATNA: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari Inaugurated the rehabilitated west coast of Mahatma Gandhi Setu through a video conference on Friday. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Presided over the event. He also thanked Gadkari Upcoming bridge And welcomed the road projects and works being done under the special package of PM Modi in the state.
The ‘Lifeline’ bridge connecting the north and south Bihar on the Ganges river is being rehabilitated with a steel deck superstructure, except for the pillars, replacing the old superstructure.
Rehabilitation of its eastern side will be started soon. A fund of Rs 1,742 crore is being spent on the overall rehabilitation of the 38-year-old bridge being carried out since February 2017.
Gadkari said that this is the first such project in the country that has been executed by the steel framework in place of concrete superstructure. “The bridge had a unique problem in that its poles were fine but the slabs were damaged. We got experts from all over the world to find ways to rehabilitate the bridge. A European firm was also selected by the IIT-Roorkie for this project, ensuring a 100-year lifespan for the bridge.
Gadkari said that work on five mega bridges with a total outlay of Rs 10,338 crore will begin in Bihar in the next few months. “The bidding process for the 7 km long bridge over Kosi between Bhagalpur and Madhepura has been initiated. Construction work will start in two months with an amount of Rs 1478 crore. Work on another 4.5 km long bridge parallel to Vikramshila Setu in Bhagalpur will also begin in two months. Similarly, a fresh bidding process for a bridge over the Ganges river at Sahebganj has been completed.”
The minister said that work on a bridge parallel to the Gandhi Setu would also begin in October. “The span of the bridge will be 242 meters long, the highest for any bridge in the country so far. Gadkari said that an amount of Rs 3,000 crore will be spent on this project.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi thanked PM Narendra Modi for a special package of Rs 1,25,000 crore for Bihar under which the Gandhi Setu Rehabilitation Project is being implemented. He said that 12 new bridges are being built on the Ganges.
State Road Construction Minister Nandkishore Yadav said that the eastern side of Gandhi Setu will also be rehabilitated in 18 months.
central minister Ram Vilas Paswan And Ravi Shankar Prasad was the honored guest. Other dignitaries present in the virtual program included Union Minister General (Retd) VK Singh.
Nitish demands more funding for MSME development
CM Nitish Kumar on Friday requested Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to extend central support to small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs), especially given the high population density in Bihar. “The state government has revised the Industrial Investment Promotion Policy to get more industrial units and has ensured that migrant workers with returns get adequate employment opportunities here. The Center is giving Rs 25,000 crore to Bihar in this regard. If more funds are approved by the Center, we would be grateful.
Nitish also indicated the need for a direct route between Buxar and Varanasi. The CM also noted the need for uniformity in the width of the National Highway (NH) for smooth vehicular movement.