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Corridor to connect north with south

The road construction department has embarked on a 274-km-long corridor project connecting Rajauli in Nawada district in the south with a point near Bhitta Mor in Sitamarhi along India-Nepal border in the north.

The north-south corridor project, which would have a four-lane road, has been divided into three components — Rajauli to Bakhtiyarpur (107km), Bakhtiyarpur to Tajpur (50km), including a 5.575-km bridge across the Ganga, and Tajpur to Bhitta Mor (117km). The corridor would directly connect Sitamarhi (Pupri and Bhitta Mor), Darbhanga (Bithalui and Jale), Samastipur (Tajpur), Patna (Bakhtiyarpur), Nalanda (Biharsharif) and Nawada districts.

The work for the Rajauli-Bakhtiyarpur section, which is being executed under the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode, has been awarded and it has a cost component of Rs 847 crore. The actual work on the project would start in December.

Work on the second component — Bakhtiyarpur to Tajpur — is on and the concessionaire would complete the work by the end of 2015. The project, which has a cost component of Rs 1,602 crore is also executed under the PPP mode. The cost component includes Rs 100 crore for land acquisition. As far as the remaining 117-km-long stretch between Tajpur in Samastipur and Bhitta More in Sitamarhi is concerned, preparations are being made for awarding the survey work for the stretch, following which work for formulation of the detailed project report would begin.

“Selection of agencies for the survey work and formulating the detailed project report would be done on the basis of competitive bidding. Construction of road along the stretch would be done under the PPP mode,” road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav told The Telegraph.

Citing reasons for conceptualising such a project, he added: “Work on the two other components of the project is underway. We thought that by adding the third component we could create our own north-south corridor. It would be of immense help in future and also provide better connectivity to people living at the two ends of the state.”

The road, Yadav said, would also be of great use in case Bihar’s plan to have its own port in Odisha fructifies. If this happens, cargo coming from Odisha would be easily transported to the northern parts of Bihar using the corridor, which would provide four-lane road from the southern end of the state up to India-Nepal border. Odisha is located towards south of Bihar.

Besides the north-south corridor, work on the 552.3-km-long border road connecting the north-west end of Bihar in West Champaran district with the north-east end in Kishanganj district would also begin soon.

The entire stretch has been divided into eight packages. The tender process to select agencies for carrying out work for four packages — West Champaran, Sitamarhi, Supaul and Araria and Araria and Kishanganj — has been started.

“The process of technical bid for the four packages would be completed very soon. Financial bids would be invited after the technical bid,” Yadav said, adding that that the detailed project report for the remaining four packages has been sent to the Centre for approval. The border road project is a brainchild of the Union government. Of the total cost component of Rs 3,561.28 crore, the Centre is providing Rs 1,656.55 crore and the Bihar government is contributing Rs 1,904.73 crore.