PATNA: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday laid foundation for projects of rural works department worth at least Rs 1959.03 crore under which 2096 road and 45 bridges would be constructed across Bihar.
The CM also gave nod for commencement of work for 1160 roads and 28 bridges worth Rs 1113.3 crore in the state. In addition, CM also inaugurated 853 roads and 60 bridges built at a cost of Rs 1097.54 crore by the department.
While speaking during a programme held on the occasion at Samvad auditorium in the city, Kumar said state government has identified around 4000 tolas with population of 250 person or above in first stage across Bihar to connect them by roads under Tola Sampark Nishchay Yojna.
“The state government has taken Rs 2800 crore off-budget loan from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) at 10% interest rate for all projects to connect tolas and villages with roads,” he said proposals were also been sent to BRICS’ New Development Bank (NDB) and World Bank.
Kumar without taking any names, said everyone knows how roads were built in the past.
“Either on direction of influential persons or on wish of contractors, roads were constructed. Due to it, some villages were well connected while rest did not had any facility,” he said adding all these things changed now.
Quoting 2011 census, Kumar said 89% of population in state lives in rural areas while 76% are dependent on agriculture. “Better roads for tolas and villages would provide connectivity to farmers for selling their products,” he said.
“What got left in central government and past state government schemes for connecting rural area with roads, the present state government executed it,” he said.
Kumar instructed officers to focus on maintenance after roads construction. “Generally on one hand, roads are constructed while on the other, older one get in bad shape. This must not happen,” he said adding engineers must also take care load bearing capacity of roads in villages as soon after road construction in rural areas, people purchase tractors and even buses start plying.
“Rural works department must do roadside plantation and maintain them for at least three to four years. The department should not take up plantation just for formality and later throw the responsibility for maintenance on forest department,” he said adding new technology for bringing down construction cost must also be adopted.