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Bridges race election clock

Chief minister Nitish Kumar laid the foundation stone of two bridges over the Budhi Gandak in town on Friday to ensure smooth traffic and easy accessibility in the region.

The bridges would come up at Chandwaraghat (from Sodagodam Chowk to Ahiyapur) and Dhobighata village under Bochanan block. The facilities are expected to be completed in two years and would connect Muzaffarpur with National Highway 57.

Addressing the people at the foundation laying ceremony at Chandwaraghat, he said: “The bridges will serve the people as an alternative route, shortening the distances to a great extent.”

The bridges would also cut down the distance from Muzaffarpur to neighbouring districts such as Darbhanga. At present, the distance between the two districts rest at 64km which people cover in around 75 minutes. Once the bridges on the Budhi Gandak come up, the distance would come down to around 52km.

The general elections in sight, Nitish is on a foundation stone-laying spree. In the past two months, he has laid the foundation stone of projects worth Rs 5,885.58 crore. These include two flyovers, 509 godowns, 126 rice mills and an agriculture college in Kishanganj district. The start of several other projects are lined up for next month, including one on the Budhi Gandak in Muzaffarpur and another one at Bangra Ghat in neighbouring Gopalganj.

Bihar State Pul Nirman Nigam Ltd will complete the projects launched on Friday at the cost of Rs 50 crore in two years.

Nitish said: “The government believes in bridging gaps in transport by constructing bridges on rivers. It would facilitate residents with unhindered traffic communication. Foundation stones of two more bridges — one at Aatharghat on the Budhi Gandak in Bochahan block and another at Bangra Ghat on the Gandak in Gopalganj by the end of February this year.”

The chief minister was accompanied by agriculture minister Narendra Singh and revenue and land reforms minister Ramai Ram to the foundation stone-laying ceremony.

The managing director of Bihar State Pul Nirman Nigam Ltd, Sanjeev Hans, was also present at the ceremony. He assured that the dilapidated Akharaghat bridge on the Budhi Gandak in the heart of town would be repaired soon as well. The bridge connects the town to Darbhanga, Madhubani, Sitamarhi and Sheohar districts. Hans said Rs 1.5 crore has been sanctioned to strengthen the bridge.

Nitish sought the credit of ushering in an era of all-round development and establishing rule of law in the state. He added that the government has never hesitated to construct bridges to facilitate smooth traffic.