Secretary, Road Construction Department, Government of Bihar
From a far away destination in Bihar to reach Patna still takes considerable time. But all that is going to change soon. You can reach Patna from any place in Bihar in less than six hours by next year. “Next year by September, we will achieve our target. We are trying to build more roads and bridges to achieve this mission,” said Pratyaya Amrit, secretary, road construction department, government of Bihar.
Connectivity, he said, was the key to inclusive growth. Amrit is credited with dramatically improving road connectivity and building bridges in the state in the last five years. “In 2005, when roads of Bihar were subject of ridicule, we are now talking about investment in roads,” he added.
Amrit said that sustaining development for longer period of time can’t happen without change in the mindset of bureaucrats. “If we have to maintain the tempo, the mindset of bureaucracy, which also includes engineers, has to be changed. The efforts should be made at the earliest,” he added.
As the network of roads is increasing, Amrit is also focusing on two key areas – road safety and maintenance of roads. The state has drafted a maintenance policy regarding roads. The Bihar government is also establishing a state-of-the-art training institute in Mokama for engineers. “Capacity-building of engineers is also very important. It should also cater to engineering fraternity at large. We want to make it the best in the country,” the secretary told the gathering.
In the last few years, the state government has given special importance to national highways, state highways and district roads. “In the national highways sector, Bihar perhaps is only state in the country which has spent Rs. 969 crore from its own plan for maintenance and upgradation of the national highways in the last five years,” Amrit said.
Not only in roads, Bihar also improved connectivity by building bridges. “From its inception in 1975 to 2005, Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam had constructed 315 bridges. In the last six years, the organisation has constructed more than 1,300 bridges,” said the secretary.