The Centre has decided to upgrade the 15km approach road to the proposed four-lane bridge parallel to Vikramshila Setu over the Ganga at Bhagalpur to national highway status. The Centre has given the sanction for erecting of much needed bridge costing Rs 1,700 crore. In fact, this is the second recent approvals from the Centre after the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had announced to begin the construction of a six-lane bridge parallel to Rajendra Setu in Mokama over the Ganga at Rs 1,161 crore.
“The biggest challenge to get positive approval for the bridge construction was that the road didn’t fall under national highway category,” said, Mr. Nand Kishore Yadav, road construction department minister. He further added, “The Centre has always played the key role in connecting national highway with national highway and to construct the approach road of this project was never easy as it is not a national highway on the Naugachia side. It was really a big challenge for us to get Centre’s approval, but now the Centre has cleared all the ambiguity and declared a 15km approach road of this project a national highway. With this we have achieved the dream of constructing a bridge parallel to Vikramshila Setu.”
As things stands now, the existing Setu is not in good shape and at the same time face regular traffic congestion, even on the approach road. In fact, in 2016, chief minister Nitish Kumar was himself got caught in a traffic jam. Before, 2015 Assembly elections in Bihar, Mr. Narendra Modi had announced
a special package of Rs 1.65 lakh crore for Bihar of which Rs 55,000 crore was planned to be spent on the upgrading and development of bridges and roads.
“The total length of the bridge is 15 km and of main bridge 4.367 km,” Nand Kishore said. “The approach road toward Bhagalpur side (NH 80) is .978km and toward Naugachia side (NH 31) 8.964km. However, we would require to acquire 52 acres of private land. This project will be implemented by Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Ltd and in addition to that its detail project report (DPR) has also been prepared.” He said that after the completion of the four-lane bridge, traffic in Bhagalpur city will get smoother and vehicles will be able to enter from Jharkhand.