Bihar CM apprised Union Minister of Road and Highways about state’s problem.

New Dehlhi,28 Aug 2009

Bihar Chief Minister, Sri Nitish Kumar called on Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Sri Kamal Nath and apprised him about state’s problem with regards to roads and highways. Sri Kumar was reminding Sri Kamal Nath that in the maintenance of National Highways in Bihar, which is the responsibility of the central Government, the state has sanctioned projects worth Rs. 711 crores, in absence of any
central funds for their repair. He said that this has repeatedly been raised by the state on different occasions. Sri Kumar further informed that till date state has already spent Rs. 525.73 crores in maintaining a total length of 1951.51 kms of National Highways. Sri Kumar asked for reimbursement of total sanctioned amount of 711 crores.Sri Nitish Kumar further reminded that approval should be granted to the revised estimates of 46 schemes submitted for revision, only 11 cases so far have been approved in which the revision has been limited to 5% of the original estimated cost. He said that the estimate had to be revised on account of some design changes made by the Ministry. Some of those works were awarded after calling for tenders for the fourth time and if work would not have been given promptly, the contractor would have run away. This issue was discussed earlier at a Secretary level meeting and was decided that a 10% deduction of the agency charge will be imposed on the state Govt. But, Bihar said that it is unfair and overlooks the intention and the compelling circumstances of the case. Bihar CM demanded that the sanction must be accorded for all the 46 revised estimates at revised rates.Bihar Chief Minister further demanded for expeditions execution of NHDP-IIIA. He said that a total of 1015 kms of National Highways in the state is proposed to be taken up for development as 4 lane roads. Buy,Operate & Transfer (BOT) bids were invited for Patna-Bakhtiarpur (NH-30) and Patna-Muzaffarpur (NH-19 and 77) having total length of 113 kms. in Sept. 2004. There was no response from the bidders, even after its extension by six months. There was no response even in other stretches. It was discussed at a meeting chaired by the Principal Secretary to the PM in August 2005 and it was decided that the concerned Ministry would suggest appropriate modalities for its implementation but the proposal regarding taking up the work on BOT (Annuity) mode or from budgetary sources is still pending. Sri Kumar requested that this should be expedited.Bihar Chief Minister also raised the issue of no objection certificate (NOC) to be granted to different projects. He said that the rehabilitation of superstructure of Mahatma Gandhi Setu across river Ganga on NH-19 is one major project under PPP. He said that PPP cell of Department of Economic Affairs has conveyed to the State Govt. to proceed ahead with the issue but even after several letters Ministry has yet to issue NOC. He said that
NOC is also required for NH-82 and NH-83 as Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) have expressed keen interest in developing these roads under Buddhist circuit under its Official Development Assistance (ODA)loan.
Sri Nitish Kumar further informed that there are projects where bidders do not turn up even after several calls. Thus, in the interest of the works, it may be decided to nominate works to fully public sector owned
companies of the state Govt., namely Bihar State Bridge Construction Corp. Ltd. (BRPNN) and Bihar State Road Development Corp. (BSRDC), if tenders are not received even after two biddings.Sri Kamal Nath listened patiently to CM’s request and assured full cooperation in the matter. He assured that ministry’s team will go to the state in the third week of September and on the basis of their report, all the cooperation to the state government will be extended.

Before meeting Sri Kamal Nath, Bihar Chief Minister also called on Union Defence Minister, Sri A.K.Antony at his South Block office for half an hour. Sri Kumar requested the Defence Minister as not to shift Army
Service Core (ASC) from Gaya to Banglore. He assured the Defence Minister as for opening Army Training Centre at Gaya, the state government will provide separate land. Sri Kumar further requested for more defence establishment in Bihar. Sri Antony assured the Chief Minister for all the possible help in this matter.

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