NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the project for construction of a 5.634 km long new 4 – lane bridge across river Ganga, just 38 meters on upstream side of the existing Mahatma Gandhi Setu (also called Gandhi Setu or Ganga Setu), along with approaches from km 0/0 to km 14/500 on NH-19 at Patna in the State of Bihar with a capital cost of Rs. 2926.42 crore.
The construction period for the project is three and a half years.and likely to be completed by January, 2023.
This mega project is 14.500 km long and passes through Patna, Saran and Vaishali districts of Bihar.
The project includes 5634 meter long major bridge parallel to the existing old MG Setu, 4 number of Vehicular Underpasses (VUPs), one Rail Over Bridge (RoB), 1580 meter long one viaduct, 110 meter long one flyover, 4 minor bridges, 5 numbers bus shelters and 13 road junctions.
River Ganga divides the State of Bihar in two parts, North Bihar and South Bihar, and the existing 4 – lane (2x7m only) old M G Setu is an important bridge across river Ganga connecting north Bihar with its capital city of Patna besides facilitating the movement of traffic from Nepal, East UP, North Bihar and North Bengal to Patna, South Bihar and Jharkhand. Though this old MG Setu is 4- lane, but an additional bridge is now very much required due to increased volume of traffic, which is more than 60,000 PCUs at present.
This new 4-lane bridge will provide for an arrangement of 8-lane movement of traffic by supporting existing old 4-lane MG Setu. The traffic crossing river Ganga through the combination of this 8 – lane bridge will get best mobility, comfort and convenience alongwith safer travel. The project will greatly facilitate the traffic movement without any congestion for the road users alongwith socio – economic benefits to the society at large.
In addition, this project of new bridge will generate direct employment of about 20.94 lakh mandays during construction.
It is worth a mention that there were only 13 bridges on river Ganges between Allahabad to Farakka before May’ 2014. Additional 20 bridges have been planned/ constructed or under construction in the above stretch after 2014, thus totaling the number of bridges to 33. Out of these 20 additional bridges, 5 bridges have already been opened to traffic and construction work on 7 bridges is in progress.
Out of the balance 8 bridge projects, which are planned for construction, work on Farakka, Sahebganj, Mokamah and Phaphamau is likely to start very soon. The present New Ganga bridge at Patna would be thus be the 30th Bridge on river Ganges between Allahabad and Farakka.