Bihar government agency to construct Ganga Expressway


Patna, Jan 22 (IANS) After failed attempts to attract private investors for the Ganga Expressway project along the banks of the river here on the lines of Mumbai's Marine Drive, a government agency has now been roped in to construct it, an official said.

"The Bihar government is committed to the mega project - Ganga Expressway - as private companies have not come forward to promote it. Now the state government's own agency will construct it," Road Construction Minister Nand Kishore Yadav told IANS.

Yadav said the government has initiated the process to change its mode of construction. Earlier it was to be constructed in the Public-Private-Partnership mode.

In August last year, the state government had approved the much-awaited 21.5-km long Deedarganj to Digha Ghat Ganga Expressway project.

The government also cleared the decks to acquire over 200 hectares of land for the project, the official said.

The estimated cost of the project would be Rs.2,234.46 crore (Rs.22.34 billion) and is likely to be completed within four years.

In the first phase, the driveway will connect Digha and Didarganj, a stretch of 21 km and in the second phase, it will go to Fatuha, a distance of 18 km.

About seven kilometres will be elevated.

A road construction department official said the government agency like Bihar State Road Construction Corporation was asked to complete the paper work related to its construction.

"The state government will issue tender for Ganga Expressway by March-April 2013," the official said.

Last year the state government had postponed the date for launching the financial bid four times in past two months due to cold response of the private investors.

According to Yadav, 12 firms had responded to the expression of interest floated for the Ganga Expressway project. Nine were shortlisted for financial bidding stage.

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