Patna: Concrete roads would be built to link rural clusters having population of 250 or above in the next five years for faster economic growth of Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Wednesday.
Intervening in a calling attention motion moved by an RJD member in the assembly, Kumar said a total 34,116 km of roads would be built under Mukhya Mantri Gram Sampark Yojna in the next five years.
The clusters would be linked with single metalled road, he said and asked legislators to check if any such cluster in their respective constituencies was omitted.
Emphasising on the importance of roads in economic development, he said linking villages with roads would revolutionalise the economic status of these remote areas as farmers could access markets with their produce in less time.
Roads under the scheme would be constructed from the state fund at a cost of Rs 23,000 crore, he said.
Villages with population of more than 500 people have been included in Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojan but those which did not find place in the central scheme would be included in the state government`s programme, he said.
Kumar said 11 Maoist-affected districts of Bihar have been included in a special scheme by the Centre and hence the state government scheme would cover the other 27 districts.
He said there would be strict monitoring of the quality of roads at different levels. At the state-level, a special agriculture committee would monitor the quality of roads constructed in villages having population of 250 or above.
In reply to a short notice question, Minister for Roads Nand Kishore Yadav said 655 km of double lane roads were being converted into four lanes and 415 km roads were being made double-lane.
This was being done by the state government under PPP, he said, adding, it was not possible for the state government to convert all national highways in the state into four-lane roads from its own resources.
Yadav said the NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee had given a lot of encouragement to road projects in Bihar, but the UPA government at the Centre was "discriminating" against it.
The proposal of the state government to convert double-lane national highways into four lanes had been dismissed by the Centre, he claimed.