U.P. to build 120 bridges during current fiscal.

Uttar Pradesh has drawn an ambitious plan of building 120 bridges - 35 rail over-bridges (ROBs) and 85 river bridges - during 2015-16 as the Samajwadi Party Government races against time to showcase its "achievements" before the 2017 Assembly elections.

Official sources said in all 228 bridges, including 79 ROBs, are under construction, of which 120 have been shortlisted for completion by March 2016. The construction agency, the UP State Bridge Corporation, has been asked to present monthly progress report. The remaining 108 bridges are proposed to be completed in 2016-17 fiscal. But, many river bridges built by the bridge corporation are hanging in the air as the approach roads to enable access to the people have not been completed.

Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan, who held a review of the under-construction bridges on Thursday, expressed his anger over the absence of approach roads to 49 out of 77 bridges constructed by the corporation in 2013-14 financial year. He fixed March 2016 as deadline for the Public Works Department (PWD) to complete the work on the approach roads.

Incidentally, the PWD and the bridge corporation are headed by powerful Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav, but the non-completion of approach roads points towards a lack of coordination between the two departments.

In the 2014-15 fiscal, 85 bridges were built over different rivers in the State with 14 bridges becoming accessible to the people after the approach roads were completed by PWD. The Chief Secretary directed the PWD officials that work on the approach roads to the remaining bridges should be completed by December 2015.

Presently, 58 bridges are under construction over 11 rivers, including the Ganga, Yamuna, Rapti, Gomti, Ghagra, Betwa, Ken and Chambal. He instructed the officials that 21 of these 58 bridges should be completed in the present fiscal year. The break-up of the 21 bridges is two over the Ganga, Ramganga (one), Yamuna (3), Betwa (1), Ken (1), Rapti (5) and Gomti (8). Mr. Ranjan said directives have been given for the completion of the 37 other bridges in the next financial year (2016-17).

The progress of the construction work on the ROBs in Arjunganj on Sultanpur road and Alamnagar in Lucknow was also reviewed by the Chief Secretary. June 2015 and February 2016 were fixed as the target for the completion of the Arjunganj ROB and Alamnagar ROB respectively.

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