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$500 million ADB Loan to build India’s Longest River Bridge across Ganges near Patna

The Asian Development Bank announced a 500-million US dollar loan to build a river bridge across the Ganga along Patna in Bihar.

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Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge / Pamban Bridge at Rameshwaram Tamil Nadu.It was India's first sea bridge and second longest sea bridge in India. Image source: blog.pkp.in

   

  • ADB has announced a loan of 500-million US dollar to build India’s largest river bridge 
  • Stretching a length of 9.8 km, the bridge will be take 4 years of construction and will be completed in December 2020 as scheduled
  • The bridge will benefit over nine million people, said the head of the project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on June 24 gave nod to a 500-million US dollar loan for building India’s largest river bridge across river Ganga near Patna in Bihar.

The bridge, with a proposed length of 9.8 km would ease traffic and provide transport links between north and south Bihar, as well as connect it with neighbouring Nepal.

According to the jagranjosh.com report, “the new bridge will make it easier for people to move between jobs and markets, particularly for poorer communities in the north wishing to travel to the state capital, Patna, just south of the river,” said Dong Kyu Lee of ADB’s South Asia Department, who is heading the project.

The bridge will facilitate a year-round embankment access road for the 250000 residents of the Raghopur Diyara island, who presently rely on boats and seasonal bridges to travel to Patna.

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River Ganga in Patna, Bihar Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
River Ganga in Patna, Bihar. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The construction project, additionally funded by the Bihar Government with a support sum of 215 million US dollars, will run for 4 years with an expected date of completion in December 2020, said the jagranjosh.com report.

Using state-of-the-art engineering techniques, the project includes plans of building viaducts, toll service counters, national highway linkages and embankments. The dimensions of the bridge are so designed that the impact of it on the river will be most minimal. It will further be able to withstand climate stress and high rise of water levels.

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An additional sum of 900000 US dollars will be provided by the ADB for “technical assistance to improve bridge operation and management”, said Lee.

Bihar, with a population of over 100 million is the third most populous state in India, but the poverty levels in the state are huge. About seven of the state’s ten poorest districts are in the north. The bridge is hoped to be of great benefit to the inhabitants who can travel easily for better income opportunities.

The capacity of existing bridges are not enough to meet the demands of increasing number of workers and labourers who have to spend more time and money on a regular basis for better jobs. But with the upcoming river bridge, engineers and designers working on the project hope that the scenario will be very different.

“In all, the bridge is expected to benefit over nine million people,” said Lee.

-By Maariyah Siddique, intern at NewsGram. Twitter:  @MaariyahSid

ALSO READ:

  • Aparna Gupta

    This development in infrastructure will definitely help commuters to travel easily.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Good to know that so many people would be benefited by this bridge

Next Story

Sri Lanka To Get a $1 Billion Loan From China

In October, Sri Lanka received orders worth at least $15 million at the China International Import Expo (CIIE)

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Sri Lanka to convert garbage dumps into urban parks
This is a Sri Lankan flag. Sri Lanka to convert garbage dumps into urban parks. wikimedia commons

Sri Lanka will get a $1 billion loan from China, its biggest lender and might sign a free trade agreement with Beijing, becoming the third country to ink such a pact in India’s neighbourhood.

Sri Lankan envoy to Beijing Karunasena Kodituwakku, who made the announcement here, said it was wrong to accuse China of pushing the South Asian island nation into a debt trap.

Sri Lanka will soon sign a concessional loan agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China to borrow $1 billion to fund a major highway from Colombo to its second largest city Kandy, Kodituwakku said on Tuesday at a briefing, apparently only for select media.

The money will be used for the first stage of the central highway and the second stage will be financed by Sri Lankan consortiums and the third by Japanese loans, the Global Times quoted him as saying.

It was not clear if the envoy was talking about the same $1 billion loan which his country’s top bank official said will come from the Export-Import Bank of China.

Sri Lanka is trying to limp back to normalcy after being hit by a deep political crisis last year that plunged the credit rating of the already-indebted country.

The Chinese have made deep inroads into the strategically located nation in the Indian Ocean and have a 100-year lease of the Hambantota Port after Sri Lanka failed to pay back loans.

US clothing brand Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts which it said showed an "incorrect map" of China.
Accurate Map of China, Pixabay

Beijing’s growing presence in Sri Lanka worries India which held considerable clout in the country.

The envoy also said that Sri Lanka was in talks with China on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

“They have reached consensus on many issues, but (the agreement) isn’t finalised,” said the Ambassador. “We hope this year will be the critical year to finalize it.”

If materialised, Sri Lanka will be the third South Asian country to sign such a pact after Pakistan and the Maldives.

The new Maldivian government is rethinking on its FTA as it believes that the pact is blindly in favour of Beijing.

Kodituwakku also revealed that Sri Lanka was negotiating with the China Development Bank for short-term loans.

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Image source: youtube.com

He slammed the Western media’s allegations that China’s financial assistance to Sri Lanka had led it into a debt trap.

“We don’t agree with that. China never forced us to take a loan… If there is something wrong with the loans we have taken, it’s our responsibility. It’s not fair to blame China or another country, saying Sri Lanka is a victim,” he said.

He emphasised that it was on Sri Lanka’s request that China provided funds, especially the development assistance.

“This year Sri Lanka has to settle nearly $4 billion, and the country has more than $8 billion in reserves. But we cannot use all that money just to pay back. We have to keep a minimum balance,” he said.

According to the Ambassador, the Colombo port was a very crucial transit port serving India.

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India’s strong economy will prop up the port as a successful entity. He hopes Chinese firms can turn the Hambantota Port into a successful facility.

In October, Sri Lanka received orders worth at least $15 million at the China International Import Expo (CIIE).

“We would like to enhance exports to the Chinese market,” he said, adding the items could include tea, jam, vegetables, fish and natural rubber-based products.

“We also invite more Chinese investors to invest in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan exports have concessional access to US, Indian and European markets. They can come to take advantage of these opportunities.” (IANS)