CM writes to PM on Ganga bridge

Chief minister Raghubar Das today shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pressing for a proposed bridge over the Ganga that will establish direct surface connectivity between Sahebganj in Jharkhand, and Purnea in Bihar.

By Sudhir Kumar Mishra in Ranchi
  • Published 3.04.15
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Raghubar Das 

Ranchi, April 2: Chief minister Raghubar Das today shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pressing for a proposed bridge over the Ganga that will establish direct surface connectivity between Sahebganj in Jharkhand, and Purnea in Bihar.

In his letter, Das urged the Prime Minister to direct the Union surface transport ministry to initiate the necessary process at the earliest for construction of what is touted as the biggest bridge project of Jharkhand. Once made, it will not only improve connectivity with Bihar but also serve as a gateway to the Northeast.

The chief minister has approved the bridge alignment report prepared jointly by the Bihar and Jharkhand governments.

"The 311km-long Govindpur-Sahebganj highway is steadily nearing completion. It means that people from different parts of Jharkhand will have an easy access to this bridge once it becomes operational," Das told The Telegraph before leaving for Bangalore to participate at the BJP national office-bearers' meeting this afternoon.

Sources claimed Modi and Union surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari, among others, are likely to visit Bangalore for the high-level meeting beginning tomorrow.

Das is likely to utilise the platform to further push for the proposed 55km bridge that will link the NH-80 in Jharkhand with NH-81 in Bihar.

According to the alignment report, the bridge will start from Purnea in Bihar and cross over the Ganga to reach Sahebganj in Jharkhand via Katihar, also in Bihar. Currently, steamers and boats ferry people between Sahebganj ghat and Manihari ghat in Katihar.

Narendra Modi

During the recently concluded budget session, BJP MLA from Rajmahal Anant Ojha had raised the issue of the delay in starting the bridge.

The chief minister, in his reply, told the House that the National Highways Authority of India would prepare the detailed project report soon. Regarding funds, Das had said the state would approach Asian Development Bank, which is funding Govindpur-Sahebganj highway.

"It is heartening to see that Das has kept his word. We have been hearing about this bridge since childhood. Now we hope that our dream becomes reality soon. States like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have developed bridges over major rivers to improve connectivity. But, this is Jharkhand's first major bridge," Ojha said today, commenting on Das's letter to Modi.

Former chief minister Arjun Munda had started steps to build the bridge over Ganga about five years ago and approved the Govindpur-Sahebganj highway.