Chief minister Nitish Kumar recently inaugurated 853 roads and 60 bridges, constructed by the rural works department for Rs 1,098 crore, and directed the officials on proper maintenance. He also launched work on 1,160 roads and 28 bridges for Rs 1,113 crore and laid the foundation stones for 2,096 roads and 45 bridges, to be built for Rs 1,959 crore.
“Maintenance policy should be adopted while constructing roads and attention should be paid on maintenance of every inch. We also need to focus on making strong roads as plying of heavy vehicles on rural roads has increased,” Nitish said at a function organised by the rural works department at his secretariat.
He also directed the officials to plant trees on both sides of the roads. “Trees that grow fast should be planted. The move will also be good for the environment,” Nitish added while expressing his wish to connect all villages, habitations and tolas (localities) with pucca roads. He pointed at work going on at various levels, including Mukhya Mantri Gram Sampark Yojana, under which habitations with a population between 250 and 500 were being connected.
The Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana is also working to connect habitations with a population of 500 and above, and habitations with population of 250 in Naxalite-affected areas.
“According to the data available, pucca road connectivity has been provided to 72,314 habitations out of total 1,29,209 habitations in the state. Work is going on to connect all the remaining habitations,” Nitish said. “This work will need money and we have submitted proposals to the New Development Bank of BRICS and the World Bank for loans. We have already taken a loan of Rs 2,800 crore on 10 per cent interest from Nabard for Tola Sampark Yojana. There will be no dearth of money for roads.”
He said the rural works department earlier spent Rs 90 lakh on building a kilometre of road, but now that has come down to Rs 70 lakh thanks to the latest techniques.