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Transport dept to get crores

Ranchi, Feb. 12: The state government has earmarked crores to pump into the transport sector.

Around Rs 910 crore out of the proposed Rs 8,015 crore annual plan has been proposed for the sector, which includes expenditure on road construction, civil aviation and surface transport.

While Rs 640 crore has been pegged for road construction, Rs 170 crore and Rs 100 crore is earmarked for the surface transport and civil aviation.

Alarmed over the inadequate pucca roads in the extremist affected areas of the state, the government is learnt to have made a strong plea before the Centre to provide it with assistance.

Records state that only 26 per cent villages are connected with roads. The state government has also emphasised on improving and strengthening the national highways and railway network. At present, the highway runs for only 1844.07km around the state of which 833km include only single and intermediate lanes.

This apart, around 192km pass through the districts of Hazaribagh, Giridih and Dhanbad.

There are no four-lane roads. Even the funds released for maintenance of national highways is about Rs 75 crore which is a minuscule amount considering the requirement.

All the highways need to be upgraded as heavy vehicles engaged in mining and industrial activities ply on this route.

The National Highway Authority of India had been entrusted with the additional task of four-laning of the NH-33 between Hazaribagh and Ranchi while the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) was to maintain the Ranchi-Jamshedpur stretch, but nothing has come of it.

Even tenders had been invited for four-laning between Ranchi-Hazaribagh. Sources said the authorities made a strong plea before the planning commission for four-laning of NH-31 from the Bihar border via Koderma up to NH-2 at Barhi and NH-33 from Barhi up to Hazaribagh and from Jamshedpur to Bahragora.

A proposal is in the pipeline for the upgradation of single and intermediate lanes on national highways that run for around 833km.

Construction of 225km under the special scheme of bypasses in Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Bokaro, Dhanbad, Medninagar, Chaibasa and Chakradharpur is also on the anvil.

A 5.5km bridge would connect Govindpur to Sahebganj and this is estimated to cost around Rs 1,000 crore is also on the cards. The bridge would open access to the Northeast via Siliguri in Bengal.

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