Patna: The stage in now set for construction of a six-lane bridge parallel to JP Setu on the river Ganga after the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) created a separate project implementation unit (PIU) attached with its Patna regional office. To begin with, two engineers have been posed in the PIU, which will expanded at later.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has already approved the project under Bharat Mala scheme and sanctioned ₹2,200 crore for building the 7.89km long extra doze cable stayed bridge, about 180 metre west from the existing rail-cum-road JP Setu.
The JP Setu connects Digha in Patna to Sonepur in Chapra district. The state road construction department (RCD) has already acquired sufficient land for approach of the proposed bridge in anticipation of the clearance by the MoRTH. “The alignment of the approach road might have to fine tune in keeping with certain route modification suggested by the NHAI towards Sonepur end,” said an RCD engineer.
A senior officer of the NHAI said that an executive engineer and an assistant engineer have been posted by the headquarters in the PIU to complete the procedural formalities and implement the project. “We intend to complete all paper works so that the construction company could start their groundwork in the next three months after the Monsoon,” he added.
The NHAI officer said that they have already received clearances from the National Waterways Authority, which ply cargo ships in the river Ganga, while the project approval from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and the Railways are in the process. “The detailed project report (DPR) along with all necessary clearances would be sent to the public investment board (PIB) for its nod before sending it to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA),” said the NHAI officer.
Based on the DPR submitted by the NHAI, the MoRTH has allocated ₹6,795 crore in the annual plan for the bridge, which would also double as part of greater ring road around the Capital city. The ring road is proposed to enter Vaishali via upcoming 6-lane bridge from Kacchi Dargah locality of Patna City and return vial the upcoming bridge via Sonepur and Digha. “We are planning to float the tenders for engaging reputed construction company by the year-end, said the NHAI officer.
The bridge, once complete, would provide great relief to the transporters, as the existing JP Setu has restriction on movement of heavy vehicles. Currently heavy vehicles coming from Ara or southern side of Patna require taking recourse to the recently reconstructed MG Setu as the nearest point to cross the river.