Bihar to push for reopening of JP Setu over Ganga to heavy vehicles
The Bihar government will soon request railways to allow reopening of JP Setu, the rail-cum-road bridge on the river Ganga to heavy vehicles citing traffic congestion in the capital city.
A few months after the inauguration of the 11-km long elevated corridor from AIIMS, Patna to Digha, the railway ministry ordered suspension of trucks’ movement on the bridge, citing the possibility of its structure getting damaged by heavy load.
Additional chief secretary (ACS), road, Amrit Lal Meena said that the road construction department (RCD) will again formally request the railway ministry to allow movement of heavy vehicles once the formalities for naming the AIIMS-Digha elevated corridor as Patli Path is over.
“Chief minister Nitish Kumar has consented to naming the elevated corridor Patli Path, which signifies the rich historical legacy of the town. There was a village called Patli, situated on the confluence of Ganga and Sone. The then emperor of Magadh, Ajatsatru built a clay castle near the village and the emperor’s son later built the city named Patliputra, which later came to be known as Patna,” said Meena.
Citing the ban of heavy vehicles on JP Setu as the major reason for sparse traffic on the corridor, a senior officer of the RCD said they will again request the ministry of railways to reopen the Ganga bridge to heavy vehicles. “Almost all major roads of the capital city are witnessing traffic congestions as only the under-construction Gandhi Setu in Patna is available for heavy vehicles to cross the river,” said the officer.
Meena said the state could propose that one-way traffic of trucks, from north to south, is allowed on the JP bridge as the trucks generally return empty or without heavy loads. “Generally, trucks, which go from south to north Bihar are loaded with construction materials like sand, quarry, etc, and hence they weigh heavier. Study shows that trucks from north to south Bihar generally return empty or with foodgrains, which are lighter in weight,” said the ACS.
The elevated corridor was inaugurated by Nitish Kumar on November 30, 2019 during his first official programme as the chief minister of the newly-elected government. The same month, the ministry of railways banned traffic of heavy vehicles on the bridge.