The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 5 , 2014
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Focus on roads to link villages

- Foundation stone for new projects and bridges

Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday inaugurated five road projects to enable even villagers to travel to the state capital within six hours.

He also laid foundation stone of roads and bridges worth Rs 450.40 crore.

These projects are seen as boosting economic growth and poverty reduction, which will bring substantial social and economic development in the region. It will help improved accessibility to various services such as easy access to markets, health facilities, schools, workplace which in turn increases the income of the locals, and ultimately elevating their standard of living.

While inaugurating the project at Samvad, Nitish said: “Lakhs of people will get the benefit once these projects are completed. From 2006 onwards, I had this dream to make the state roads better. I hope the construction will be completed in the stipulated timeframe while maintaining quality also.”

These five projects are part of the Bihar State Highway Project (BSHP) Part-2, being implemented by the Bihar State Road Development Corporation (BSRDC). Asian Development Bank (ADB) is assisting to strengthen and rehabilitate the deteriorated state roads and upgrade some newly declared state roads to provide reliable road transport services.

Nitish inaugurated the construction through video-conferencing in all five districts — Nawada, Samastipur, Muzaffapur, Sitamarhi and Siwan.

He expressed his disappointment over the condition of national highways. “Despite repeated requests, the Centre did not provide us funds and finally we spent Rs 1,000 crore to repair the highways. However, I am not going to sit quiet and will demand to return the money from the Centre,” said Nitish.

Once the roads are completed within the deadline of 12-24 months, the immediate benefits will come in the form of direct employment opportunities for several communities.

Nitish iterated his desire to bring down the travel time to reach Patna from any districts to six hours. “We have achieved our dream of six-hour travel to Patna from any district. Now, I want the road construction department to bring it down further. Set a new target and work on it.”

Nitish also laid foundation stones of new roads — two in Darbhanga district and one each in Chhapra and Ara — costing Rs 228.60 crore with a total length 67.10km. Apart from these, he also laid the foundation stone of 16 small bridges in 10 districts — Patna, Banka, East Champaran, Madhubani, Kaimur, Katihar, Darbhanga, Lakhisarai, Muzaffarpur and Jehanabad worth Rs 221.7977 crore.