Patna: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be inaugurating the repair work on the dilapidated Gandhi Sethu in Patna on January 15. The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had in June last year approved the project of rehabilitating the four-lane 5.575-km long Mahatma Gandhi Setu on NH-19 on the Ganga river in Patna.
PM Modi will inaugurate the repair work via video-conferencing. The camaraderie, which was seen between PM Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during Prakash Parv function in Patna on Thursday, seems to have clicked with PM agreeing to inaugurate the repair work. This repair work had been pending for almost six months.
“According to the information we have received from Union Road and Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari’s office, PM Modi will inaugurate the repair work on Gandhi Setu on 15th January”, said Sushil Modi, former deputy chief minister.
The project, which will cost approximately Rs 1,742.01 crore, will be completed within 42 months by the AFCOM Infrastructure Limited, the company with which Bihar’s road construction department has signed a contract. The repair work is part of the special package that the Prime Minister had announced for Bihar ahead of state Assembly elections in 2015.
Sushil Modi slammed the Congress’ 10-year-rule at the Centre for granting peanuts in the name of funds for repair work of the Gandhi Setu, but never made the effort for a complete renovation of this bridge, which is called the lifeline of Bihar, connecting south Bihar to north.
“In the last ten years of Congress rule, only Rs 102 crore was spent to renovate the Gandhi Setu”, said Sushil Modi.
Presently, the condition of the dilapidated Gandhi Setu is such that there it could collapse any moment. The bridge was constructed in 1982 and inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has made efforts to rehabilitate this bridge in the last 15 years but not been successful. After national and foreign experts having studied this project carefully, it has now been decided that dismantling the existing superstructure and subsequently renovating it by steel truss is the only way to repair it.