The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar has given its go ahead to a Rs 2,100 crore driveway project that will recreate Mumbai's Marine Drive along the river Ganga and will serve as an arterial road for the city.
The project will be dovetailed with the state's plan for at least two large bridges on the Ganga in the state. Patna has only one viaduct over the river at present to facilitate people to cross over but it often gets choked due to traffic.
"This driveway will be built on the public-private partnership model. It will me more than just a fancy boulevard. Many firms have expressed interest in this project," said Bihar Road Construction Department Secretary Pratyay Amrit.
"We have already conducted feasibility studies for the driveway. We are now in the process of preparing a detailed project report. Our estimate is it will cost around Rs.2,100 crore," Amrit told.
"Our ultimate aim is to develop Patna as a metropolitan city like you have New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or Kolkata. This is part of the state's Vision 2021 Plan."
The driveway will come along a 21.2-km stretch between Digha Ghat and Didarganj on the northern side of the city. Of this, around eight kilometres will be on an elevated stretch. Marine Drive in Mumbai, also called queen's necklace, is a 3-km stretch along the Arabian Sea.
The project was first mooted soon after Nitish Kumar took over as the state's chief minister Nov 24, 2005, and said it will be one of his pet projects. "Patna will have its own Marine Drive," Kumar had promised.