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Cabinet nod to road bridge proposal

Patna, July 17: The cabinet on Friday approved the construction of a six-lane road bridge over the Ganga, between Kachchi Dargah in Patna and Bidupur in Vaishali district, providing succour to commuters, who come to the capital from north Bihar.

The cabinet, at its meeting chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar, sanctioned Rs 4,129 crore for the much ambitious bridge, which recently became a bone of contention between the Centre and the state government.

For the Rs 4,129 crore project, the government would take a loan of Rs 3,000 crore from the Asian Development Bank for the completion of the project, which would come up as an alternative to the Mahatma Gandhi Setu, which is in poor condition. The tenders for the project would be floated shortly.

Nitish Kumar had earlier criticised the Centre for its sudden interest in the construction of the 16km-long bridge over the Ganga.

The cabinet also sanctioned Rs 121 crore for the construction of the remaining parts of the Mithapur-Chiraiyatand overbridge. The completion of the bridge would provide relief to the residents of the capital, who are often caught in traffic snarls.

The cabinet also decided to make amendments in the existing rule, which provides medical assistance to the families of freedom fighters. The dependents of the freedom fighters would be paid Rs 5,000 instead of Rs 2,000 for the same.

The commercial taxes department's proposal to impose taxes on online shopping was also passed in the meeting. The meeting decided to bring about certain changes in the existing rules and impose taxes on online shopping, which was not en vogue in Bihar until now.

The cabinet also passed a proposal, which would provide Rs 8,000 for sanitation (construction of toilets) from its own resources. The scheme would benefit the rural masses, who mostly defecate in the open because of lack of toilets in their houses.

A total of 40 proposals were passed.

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