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Smooth roads before rains

Driving through eight localities in the city would soon be a pleasure. Some of the roads criss-crossing them would shortly get a fresh layer of asphalt.

With the funds-starved urban development department — responsible for maintaining roads in the city — being overburdened, the road construction department has taken the responsibility to rebuild — not just confined to patch work — 8.67km of different roads.

Road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav said: “We have earmarked Rs 15 crore for the makeover project after several residents complained against poor road conditions in their respective areas.”

He said: “We are serious about constructing good roads. We sent applications to the urban development department and requested them to hand over the construction of these stretches to us. We got the no-objection certificate from it in the last week of December.”

At present, the road near Dakbungalow is fine but it’s a pain to drive towards Light Corner as the Bandar Bagicha to Buddha Marg stretch is in a shambles.

Similarly, streets off the Ashok Rajpath towards Pirbahore, Sabzibagh, Birla Temple and Khetan Market are not in a good shape. A straight drive on the Nala Road towards Congress Maidan, Lohanipur and Rajendra Nagar overbridge is near impossible because several stretches are broken.

On the deadline of the project, Yadav said: “It will be over by June. A tender for the project has been floated and work is expected to begin in the first week of March. Our engineers will also ensure that there is no accumulation of water on these roads.”

The road construction department takes care of 184.44km of road space in the city. Yadav said his department would not take over any road from the urban development department as it was engaged in many projects across the state.

Preferring anonymity, a senior official of the urban development department admitted: “Because of scarcity of funds, we cannot maintain these roads regularly.”

He virtually thanked the road construction minister. “Our department is overburdened. This move will help the citizens,” he said.

Expressing happiness over the road construction department’s initiative, Sabzibagh resident Rakesh Kumar (36) said: “It’s a very good news that the government is taking such decisions apart from constructing flyovers and state highways. It will give us a lot of relief during the rains as we will save our time in travelling.”

Shambhu Nath Prasad (55), a resident of City Chowk in Patna City, said: “Both sides of the road in our locality are good but the stretch which connects Patna Sahib station is in a bad shape and it takes a lot of time to reach our destination. I am happy to hear that after a few months we will no longer face this problem.”