Friday, June 12, 2009

140 bridges in Bihar on a single day

PATNA: Chief minister Nitish Kumar created a record of sorts when he inaugurated as many as 140 small and medium bridges across the state in one go
at a function organized in Patna on Thursday. “This record will be broken next year when as many as 500 new bridges would be thrown open for public,” he said amid thunderous applause. The bridges in the state are being built by Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam (BRPNN). The 140 bridges were built at a cost of Rs 310 crore. Work is on to construct another 359 bridges and strengthen 448 kms of roads at an estimated cost of Rs 1,975 crore, BRPNN officials said. BRPNN, a state public sector undertaking which was in the red till a few years ago, has become a huge success story during the last three years of Nitish-led NDA rule with a turnover of Rs 456 crore and profits of Rs 90.43 crore. Earlier, Nitish opened the Kankerbagh flyover which was also built in a record time. He also unveiled the BRPNN’s online project monitoring system, mobile-based inspection for monitoring of construction work and information kiosk, a first in a government agency. The CM directed top officials, including the chief secretary and the development commissioner, to introduce such a mechanism in other departments as well for speedy execution of work and maintenance of transparency. “My dream is to get the state a huge network of roads which is a must for development. Roads and bridges are as important as law and order, health and education,” Nitish said and added he wants a network of roads which can enable travellers even from the interior villages of Kishanganj or Champaran to reach the state capital in six hours’ time. “Work and development are now becoming a religion in Bihar. The recent elections also manifested that this is what people want,” Nitish said. BRPNN chairman Pratyaya Amrit said the Nigam built 344 small and medium bridges at a cost of Rs 537.8 crore during the last three years. Road construction department (RCD) minister Prem Kumar and chief secretary RJM Pillai were among those who spoke on the occasion.