Grants for road works in Bihar
The Bihar government has sanctioned funds for various road sections in the state. It has allotted Rs 20 crore for construction of roads in Palamu and Hazaribagh; Rs 12.37 crore for upgradation of the 71-km Daltonganj-Hariharganj road; and, Rs 7.41 crore for repair and extension of Vishu-Garh-Narki road. The sections are expected to be commissioned by March 2004.
Plan for Noida-Agra Expressway
The UP government has proposed the construction of the Noida-Agra Expressway, which is awaiting the Centre's clearance. The state PWD will also take up reconstruction of 3,500 km of roadways at an outlay of Rs 2,860 crore provided by the World Bank. Phase I involves a 808-km road stretch for improvement and 374 km for upgradation.
New technology in road building
The Bangalore University Centre for Transport Engineering has successfully conducted experiments to use waste plastic bags as road paving material. These could be a component in hot asphalt mix. The Karnataka PWD has given the go-ahead for implementation of this technique. K.K. Poly Flex Pvt. Ltd will experiment with this method on a 1-km stretch of road in the university.
New rail line in Danapur
The Rs 78.04 crore 63-km long Fatuha-Islampur new rail line is expected to be commissioned by this month-end. The Danapur division in Bihar has deployed additional men for the meeting the deadline. Three pairs of long-distance trains would too be introduced on this division.
30-year project still in limbo
A 30-year old railway project continues to gather dust in the offices of the Bihar government. Survey work for the 171-km long Hajipur-Sugauli rail line via Vaishaligarh and Sahebganj (in Muzaffarpur district) was carried out long ago but the Railway Ministry showed no interest in the project. In 1997, the then railway minister announced the preparation of a report for the Rs 100 crore project considering that Vaishaligarh is an important religious destination for the Jain community. The current Railway Minister, Nitesh Kumar, has referred the project to the Plan panel for approval.