| Chief minister Nitish Kumar at the function to lay the foundation stone of the Loknayak Ganga Path at Digha on October 11. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
In re-christening and planning to realign the Ganga Driveway, Nitish Kumar made Loknayak Ganga Path comparable to only Yamuna Expressway.
On October 11, while laying the foundation stone of Rs 2,234.46-crore 21.5km Ganga driveway project at Digha Ghat, the chief minister asked road construction department secretary Pratyaya Amrit to extend the road both in the east and the west.
At present, the department is exploring the possibility of extension, which will turn the total length of the driveway to around 104km. The chief minister’s proposal is aimed at linking two upcoming bridges on the Ganga — one near Bakhtiyarpur and the other in Bhojpur district.
The new alignment, if implemented, would be like the 165km Yamuna Expressway, along the Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh, that has brought down journey time between New Delhi and Agra by several hours.
Preferring anonymity, a senior official of the department told The Telegraph: “The project, at present, is divided into three phases. The first phase is the completion of Loknayak Ganga Path from Digha Ghat to Didarganj, second phase connecting Didarganj to Bakhtiyarpur, which is around 30km, and the 52km third phase to connect Digha Ghat with Ara-Chhapra bridge.”
He added: “The distance between Digha and Ara-Chhapra bridge is around 52km. It would be a tough task to execute the project. It is not easy as you can see so much of money is required to construct 21.5km-long road along the Ganga.”
“Our first priority is to complete the first phase in the stipulated four years. At the same time, we shall work on the rest of the two phases. It is quite early to predict about the benefit of these roads but I can surely say that it would be a boon for the state. It will ease the traffic pressure and lakhs of vehicles need not to enter the city to ply from east to west.”
The Bakhtiyarpur (Patna district)-Tajpur (Samastipur district) bridge is coming up around 50km east of Gandhi Setu. Its construction is likely to be over in 2015. Similarly, the construction of the Babura (Ara district)-Doriganj (Chhapra district) bridge is also going on in full swing and expected to get completed by end-2014.
The work of the Ganga driveway project has been awarded to Navayuga Engineering Company.