New Delhi: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Friday inked a pact with Government of India for providing Rs 1,350 crore assistance for a highway project in Bihar which falls under the Buddhist circuit. "JICA here today signed a Japanese ODA loan agreement with the Government of India to provide JPY 22,903 million (about Rs 1,350 crore) for the Bihar National Highway (NH) Improvement Project," JICA said in a statement.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved the scheme for widening of Patna-Gaya-Dobhi section in the state last month. The widening of the 127 km stretch, a part of the Buddhist Circuit which also serves as link road for the proposed world class international Nalanda University at Rajgir, entails a total capital cost of Rs 2015.60 crore.
This includes cost of civil construction, supervision works, land acquisition, rehabilitation and pre-construction activities. JICA said the loan has been provided for upgradation of NH 83 connecting Patna to Gaya and Dobhi, covering 127 km. "The loan at concessional rate of 1.4 per cent carries a repayment period of 30 years with grace period of 10 years," the statement said.
Under the agreement, the funds would be used for widening of roadway to four lanes and for building of bypasses, bridges and service lanes. The project will be executed by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Chief Representative of JICA India, Shinya Ejima, said, "Japan places great importance to improvement of infrastructure in India. Bihar is India s one of the biggest state and is rapidly developing but lack of quality highways has been a big impediment to the progress of the state. The ODA loan is expected to contribute to the enhancement of the investment climate and development of the tourism in the state".
The agreement was signed by Toshiyuki Kuroyanagi, Vice President, JICA Tokyo and Rajesh Khullar, Joint Secretary (Bilateral Cooperation), Ministry of Finance. The project is likely to be completed in three years.
On completion of the project, the stretch will provide smooth connectivity to Gaya/Bodhgaya, Rajgir and Nalanda both from Patna and in turn connecting the East-West corridor and Golden Quadrilateral at Dobhi on NH-2.JICA said the loan has been provided for upgradation of NH 83 connecting Patna to Gaya and Dobhi, covering 127 km.