GAYA: Hardly 20% of the four-laning work on the 127km stretch of NH- 83 linking Patna with Grand Trunk road at Sasaram could be completed before the April 2018 deadline.
The Rs2015-crore project’s progress at a snail’s pace is a major embarrassment for both the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the state road construction department (RCD). Non-availability of land for road construction has been identified as the main hurdle in the execution of the ambitious project.
NHAI, on April 24, 2014, awarded the contract to IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company Limited with April 9, 2018 deadline to compete the construction work. Besides four-laning of the Dobhi-Patna road, the company has to construct 11 major bridges, 17 small bridges, 3 service roads, 3 road overbridges and 218 culverts under the project. The project is being executed by financial aid from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Conceding that the deadline has expired, principal secretary (RCD) Amrit Lal Meena said the contract period for the project has been extended by one year. Meena said land for 80km stretch has been made available to the construction company and, of late, work has gathered momentum. “Land for the remaining 47km stretch will also be made available soon,” Meena said.
Sources said a deputy collector level officer has been specially deputed to expedite the process of land transfer. “Black topping work too has started, both from Dobhi and Patna ends. Once executed, the distance between Patna and Gaya airports would be covered in about 100 minutes,” said Meena.
According to sources in land and revenue affairs department, land in 62 revenue villages has been acquired in Gaya district in which half of the 127km stretch falls. The remaining parts are under the administrative jurisdiction of Jehanabad and Patna districts.
As per estimates, nearly half of the Rs2015 crore has been earmarked for compensating landowners and the remaining amount would be spent on earth work, concretization, black topping and bridge construction, among other works.