September 28, 2020

Four-lane highway misses deadline

Gaya: The firm assigned the project to four-lane the National Highway 83 has missed its April deadline, with over 80 per cent of the work pending.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had awarded the Rs 2,015 crore contract to IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company Limited on April 24, 2014 to execute the four-lane project. The four-lane highway links the important GT Road with Patna, and NHAI fixed April 9, 2018, as the deadline for the construction job.

Gaya activist S.B. Bhaskar said: “The April 2018 deadline has expired but hardly 15 per cent of the work has been done. At this rate, another 25 years will be required to complete the ambitious project.”

Besides four-laning the 127km-stretch of national highway between Dobhi and Patna, IL&FS has to construct 28 major and minor bridges, three service roads, three road overbridges and 218 culverts.

Japan International Cooperation agency is funding the project. But non-availability of land for road construction has been identified as the major irritant. Chief minister Nitish Kumar had on Saturday pointed out to civil servants how land acquisition and land disputes have cropped up as the biggest issues for the state. He was speaking the Civil Services Day celebration in Patna.

Amrit Lal Meena, principal secretary, road construction department, said: “The contract has been extended by one more year. Land for 80km of 127km has been made available to the construction company and of late, work has gained momentum. Land for the remaining 47 km will soon be made available.”

A deputy collector level officer has been deputed to expedite the land transfer process.

Black-top work has started from Dobhi and Patna, Meena said, adding that once executed, the distance between Patna and Gaya airports will be covered in about 100 minutes.

Nearly half of the estimated Rs 2,015 crore had been earmarked for compensating landowners and the remaining amount will be spent on earth-work, concretisation, black-top and bridge construction.

Road safety

Rumble strips (raised strips across or along roads, warning drivers of speed restrictions) and zebra crossings will be made on 15 state highways near where schools are situated, road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav announced on Wednesday. He said NDA-I government in the state had succeeded in its efforts to improve roads in Bihar, “but now that the roads are better, the speed of vehicles have increased”.

“It has been found that most accidents occur because the people are unaware of road safety rules,” said Nand Kishore, adding that his department has sent 10 vans to 119 schools in the state to create road safety awareness among the students.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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