The government on Thursday approved two highway projects for widening of roads in Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha at an expenditure of Rs 5,652.03 crore.
The projects approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) included Rs 2015.60 crore scheme for widening of Patna-Gaya-Dobhi section in Bihar and Rs 3636.43 crore project for Baharagora-Sambalpur stretch in Odisha and Jharkhand, an official statement said.
"The CCEA today approved the implementation of four laning of Patna-Gaya-Dobhi section on NH-83 in Bihar with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) -- ODA Loan Assistance," the statement said about the Bihar project.
It said the widening of the 127 km stretch, a part of the Buddhist Circuit which also serves as link road for the proposed world class international Nalanda University at Rajgir entails a total capital cost of Rs 2015.60 crore including cost of civil construction, supervision works, land acquisition, rehabilitation and pre-construction activities.
The Japanese government is ready to fund the project that takes off from NH-30 at Patna and ends at junction of NH-83 and NH-2 (Golden Quadrilateral) at Dobhi through JICA loan.
It will be completed within three years of the signing of agreement.
"The project road will provide smooth connectivity to Gaya/Bodhgaya, Rajgir and Nalanda both from Patna and in turn connecting the East-West corridor and Golden Quadrilateral at Dobhi on NH-2. It also will provide substantial economic gain in terms of reduced vehicle operating costs and reduced travel time," the government said.
JICA has already agreed to provide loan assistance with 100 per cent financing for civil construction and supervision work for the implementation of four laning of the Patna-Gaya-Dobhi Project. The disbursement period of the loan under the agreement shall be within ten years from the date of the loan pact.
The other project pertains to four/two laning of 368.20 km Baharagora-Sambalpur section of NH-6 in the Odisha and Jharkhand under National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase IV on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis.
"The total cost of the project including land acquisition, rehabilitation and pre-construction activities will be Rs 3636.43 crore. The concession period will be 30 years including construction period of 36 months," the statement said.
It added that the main object of the project is to expedite the improvement of infrastructure in both the states also in reducing the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying between Baharagora and Sambalpur.
NH-6 is a major link for Kolkata in West Bengal