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0TH INDIAN ROAD


CONGRESS; CHANGING
FACE OF BIHAR

A
t the invitation of the Government of
Bihar, the 70th Annual Session of the
Indian Road Congress (IRC) is being
held in Patna at the historical Gandhi Maidan
during 14th to 17th November, 2009. This
Session of Indian Road Congress is being held
in Bihar after a gap of 17. Prior to this, Bihar
had the glory of holding three such sessions,
which had been held respectively in January
1961, December 1981 and Nov-December
1992.
Formally inaugurating the session
of the Congress, CM Nitish Kumar requested
the delegates and other attending engineers,
experts and architects to design roads which
may be suitable to rural areas in terms of
cost efficiency. He also urged the engineers
to develop design and suggest measures to
repair the Mahatma Gandhi Setu which is in
shambles. This is the only road bridge which
connects north Bihar to the rest of the state
including Patna. This longest man made

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bridge had been inaugurated in May 1982
which cost 65 crores only. The 5.575
Kilometer long bridge has now developed
several cracks leading to serious structural
problems. The engineers in the state
government have been desperately trying to
repair it for several years but in vain. They do
not simply have the expertise and technical
know how to deal such huge technical
problems.
Expressing his helplessness, the
chief minister said that in spite of his best
efforts in terms of man and money, he has
not been so far able to repair this bridge up
to what he called his own satisfaction. He
therefore requested the eminent scientists
and engineers who have assembled here to
participate in this congress to suggest
methods and measures to rectify the
problems.

This congress, among other


things, is scheduled to discuss among other
things, to promote and encourage the
science and practice of building and
maintenance of roads, provide channel for
expression of collective opinions with regard
to road construction, evolve ways and
promote use of standard specifications and
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latest structural designs, to suggest and
share experiences and achievements
regarding education, experiment and
research in field of construction and
maintenance of roads, to hold meetings and
seminars at regular intervals to deliberate
upon technical questions, to suggest to the
government laws related to development,
improvement and protection of roads and to
suggest improved methods of administration,
planning design, construction, operation, use
and maintenance of roads.

The IRC is also expected to discuss to


establish, furnish and maintain libraries and
museums for enriching the science of road
construction and publish proceedings,
journals, periodicals and other literature to
promote Society in helping keep the roads in
good condition.

Nitish Kumar has been desperately


trying to improve the road conditions in the
state which is considered to be one of the
major banes to development. He also
enhanced the plan allocation for roads from
Rs 1,899 crore in 2008-09 to Rs 2,565 crore
which is 16% of the total plan outlay. The
holding of this IRC is being projected as a
major initiative by the state government to

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remove the stereotype image of Bihar in
areas of infrastructure especially roads.

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