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Setu revamp in 42 months, Centre tells Patna HC

A parallel four-lane bridge will also come up to ease traffic pressure on Mahatma Gandhi Setu

patna Updated: Jan 13, 2017 12:06 IST
Prashant Pratap/Anirban Guha Roy
Prashant Pratap/Anirban Guha Roy
Hindustan Times, Patna
Mahatma Gandhi Setu,Patna high court,Centre
Mahatma Gandhi Setu, the main road link connecting Patna in the south to Hajipur in north Bihar, is in dilapidated condition. (File photo)

The Centre has informed the Patna high court that the dilapidated Mahatma Gandhi Setu will be totally revamped within 42 months and a new four -lane bridge, parallel to it will be put in place in due time.

Lawyers representing the Centre informed an HC bench of acting chief justice Hemant Gupta and justice Dinesh Kumar Singh on Thursday, that a detailed project report (DPR) for the construction of a new parallel bridge will be available soon for the Centre to take a decision on.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Dinesh Kumar Khoorpiwala on the issue.

The judges also asked Bihar additional advocate general, Anjani Kumar, to file a detailed affidavit with respect to the Digha-Pahleza road, stating by when it could be made operational.

On behalf of the Union ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH), it was stated that a project for replacement of the super structure of exiting 5.575 km long, 4-lane Mahatma Gandhi Setu, through the engineering procurement construction (EPC) mode, had been undertaken by the Centre and bidding process for it had been finalised.

It was said the project has been awarded to M/S AFCONS Infra Ltd India and MS OJSC SI of Russia under a joint venture, on September 14 last year. The project is to be completed within 42 months from November 19, 2016.

The upstream part is to be completed within first 24 months and the downstream part would be completed in the next 18 months.

Additional solicitor general (ASG) SD Sanjay said, to reduce the traffic load on the bridge, it had been decided by MoRTH to construct another 4-lane bridge, parallel to the existing one. The consultant for preparation of DPR has been appointed and process commenced on March 3, 2016. It had to be completed within 12 months.

Advocate Khoorpiwala, through his PIL, had pleaded for a direction to the concerned authorities to take urgent steps for repair of the Setu, linking Patna and Vaishali, and to complete the exercise on a war footing.

This was necessary as the condition of the bridge was precarious, and any further deterioration in its condition might lead to complete disruption of road traffic between south and North Bihar.

He said the 5.57 km bridge, opened in 1982, became a spent asset despite constant monitoring by the authorities concerned, and by 2001 traffic on the western side of the road bridge was partially stopped to carry out repairs.

Taking cognizance of the issue, the court had earlier ordered the Centre to furnish an exhaustive reply, detailing the time-frame for the revamp of the Gandhi Setu.

The matter will come up for further monitoring on January 27.

First Published: Jan 13, 2017 12:06 IST