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2016 will see you drive along the Ganga: all the way from Digha to Didarganj!

2016 will see you drive along the Ganga: all the way from Digha to Didarganj!

 

Ganga: Patna's pride!

Patna: this is a tale of urbanism and urbanization in Bihar. It is a tale about the likely ease of movement in and around Patna – the densely packed part of the Patna city will suddenly become accessible to the rest of Patna as it indeed should be. This would bring the inner city more business from visitors who did not step beyond the Patna Science College along the Ashok Rajpath. It is also a real estate story, ensuring that the big realtors in town would huddle to make deals while the smaller fries would look for a chance to make an easy kill! Most of all in terms of the history of the city, let us say that the people of Patna have decided to hug their river closer to their hearts. In recent years, one has had to wonder if the river was turning away from the city or the city was turning its back on its obvious asset – the river Ganga in all its splendour!

But don’t miss this one – imagine the number of jobs the gargantuan project will create, hopefully not adding to the already existent slums, although there seems no basis for such hope. Can we create a prettier Patna without burdening it with unmanageable slums, seems to be the vital question.

Yes, the driveway along the Ganga becomes significantly more real with the first major official statement confirming that things are indeed moving, and we are no longer talking of blueprints. According to the latest reports, eight construction companies, including Gammon, Nagarjun and Reliance, have shown keenness to construct the proposed 40-km driveway along the banks of the Ganga River in Patna modelled on Mumbai’s Marine Drive. Eight companies have submitted quotations for the Rs.2,234.46 crore project, said an official of the Bihar State Road Development Corporation Ltd. Bihar road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav told the press that the government would select the company by June.

“We hope to start construction work by next year and the project would be completed by 2016,” he said. Last year, the union finance ministry and the cleared the project. 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 km of the road will run on an elevated platform. It was Indira Gandhi, who had first proposed such a driveway in Patna, said a retired engineer associated with construction of the Mahatma Gandhi Setu.

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