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Bihar plans its own North-South corridor
PATNA: Once known for its bad roads and poor connectivity, Bihar has built a network of roads as part of infrastructure development programme during the past few years under various central and state schemes. Now, the road construction department (RCD) is working on an ambitious plan to provide a smooth passage from Nepal to Jharkhand through a four-lane road while the rural works department (RWD), responsible for rural roads, is working on plans to provide road linkage to all the habitats with a population of 250 by 2017.Talking about the state's own 'North-South corridor', RCD minister Nand Kishore Yadav said the state government has taken up this major initiative on its own. "This four-lane road will connect Nepal with Jharkhand. It will stretch in north Bihar from Bhitha Mor bordering Nepal to Rajauli in Nawada district in south Bihar, which borders Jharkhand," he said.
The construction of road from Rajauli to Bakhtiarpur, Yadav said, has already been awarded to an agency under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode at an estimated outlay of Rs 847 crore. From Bakhtiarpur, this road will be linked to the upcoming Bakhtiarpur-Tajpur river bridge. This bridge too is coming up under PPP mode at a cost of Rs 1,602 crore.
"From Tajpur to Nepal border, the work for construction of road would be given to the Bihar State Road Development Corporation, which has been asked to prepare the detailed project report (DPR)," the minister said. This four-lane, 115-km-long road will pass through Bithauli, Atarbail, Jale and Pupri in northern part of the state before culminating at Bhitha Mor. On completion of this North-South corridor, people would be able to travel from Nepal to Jharkhand by a shorter route without passing through Muzaffarpur, Hajipur and Patna.
In another major initiative in road sector, the state government has planned to link all the habitats with a population of 250 with concrete roads in the next five years. Chief minister Nitish Kumar, who has worked out this plan, said efforts would be made to arrange the huge funds required for the project. It is estimated that about 28,000km roads would have to be constructed at a cost of Rs 25,000 crore to achieve this goal by 2016-17.
Incidentally, in nine Maoist-affected districts of the state, the habitats with a population of 250 would be linked with roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna (PMGSY). In the remaining 30 districts, the state will have to manage funds for the scheme on its own.
RWD minister Bhim Singh said the state would construct these roads with its own resources, including external and internal loans from agencies like World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Nabard.