Chhattisgarh CM writes to Union Panchayat Raj Minister, seek sanction of Rs 1,100 crores for construction of 454 steel bridges

Raipur: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister today wrote a letter to Union Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar seeking sanction of Rs 1,100 crores for construction of steel bridges to ensure rural connectivity.
In his letter, the chief minister said the state government has identified 454 Long Span Bridges (LSB) including 250 steel bridges for construction, which will cost approximately Rs 1,100 crores.
Mr Baghel maintained that with construction of these bridges, tribal and rural population will have superior road connectivity which will enable state to bring them to mainstream development and provide access to market, education, health and PDS centers among others, thus increasing agriculture/rural income, productivity and employment opportunities and create a better eco-system for poverty reduction in sustainable manner.
He further stated that the Bastar division is LWE infested area and has geographical disadvantage due to dense forests and border with other states. Till now, 1,375 roads (7,228 kms) has already been constructed in Bastar Division and further 692 roads (3,009 kms) are under construction.
He added that due to LWE activities and time-consuming construction time, Long Span Bridges (LSB) are not feasible on these roads. Instead, construction of steel bridges is preferred owning to prefabricated nature of steel bridges thus reducing the construction time.
He emphasised that even maintenance and upgradation time is also significantly less for steel bridges and these bridges can be relocated or shifted conveniently as per the need.
Mr Baghel said that Chhattisgarh Government is committed to construct rural roads as part of our multifaceted approach to reduce LWE activities. Chhattisgarh is a state with predominantly rural population of 76% of which majority is tribal. Forest cover of Chhattisgarh amounts to approximately 44% of the total geographical area and much of this area is in difficult terrains.
He said that in rural areas, road connectivity is imperative to increase productivity of land, capital formation, employment generation, reduce post-harvest losses and improve living standards of the people.
The chief minister informed the union minister that the state has till now constructed 7.300 rural roads amounting to 33,622 kms along with 264 LSB including 09 steel bridge. Furthermore, 1,240 roads (7737 kms) along with 114 LSB are under construction.
Mr Baghel added that prior to 2011 and afterwards too, Long Span Bridges (LSB) were not taken up due to various complexities and challenges for road construction in such terrains. But with the renewed focus on infrastructure, the Chhattisgarh government has identified 454 LSB including 250 steel bridges for construction, which will cost approximately Rs 1,100 crores.
He requested the Union Rural Development Minister to provide sanction of Rs 1,100 crores for construction of these 454 steel bridges to ensure rural connectivity.

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