NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation the "historic" Kosi rail mega bridge through video-conference on Friday and also inaugurate 12 rail projects related to passenger facilities in Bihar, his office said.
Modi has either inaugurated or laid the foundation stone of a number of development projects in the poll-bound state in the last few days with sources saying that the total cost of these infrastructure and other programmes would be about Rs 16,000 crore.
The Prime Minister's Office said on Wednesday that the 'Kosi Rail Mahasetu' (mega bridge) is a watershed moment in the history of Bihar as it will connect the region to the North East and described it as historic.
In 1887, a meter gauge link was built between Nirmali and Bhaptiahi in the region but it was washed away during the heavy flood and severe Indo-Nepal earthquake in 1934, the PMO said, adding no attempt was made to restore this rail connectivity for a long period due to the meandering nature of Kosi river.
The mega bridge project was sanctioned by the Union government during 2003-04.
It is 1.9 km long and its construction cost is Rs 516 crore, the PMO said.
"This bridge is of strategic importance along the India-Nepal border.
The project was completed during the COVID-Pandemic where the migrant labour also participated in its completion," it added.
The 12 other rail projects, which Modi will also inaugurate, include a new railway bridge on the Kiul River, two new railway lines, five electrification projects, one electric locomotive shed and third line project between Barh and Bakhtiyarpur.
The inauguration of Kosi rail mega bridge will fulfil the 86-year-old dream and a long wait of the people of the region, the PMO said.
The prime minister will also flag off the Saharsa-Asanpur Kupha train from the Supaul station.
Once the regular train service begins, this would prove to be highly beneficial to Supaul, Arariya and Saharsa districts, making it easier for those on long distance travel to Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai.
He will also inaugurate the railway electrification projects of Muzaffarpur Sitamarhi, KatiharNew Jalpaiguri, Samastipur-Darbhanga-Jaynagar, Samastipur-Khagaria, and Bhagalpur-Shivnarayanpur sections, the PMO said.
Assembly polls in Bihar are slated to be held in October-November, and the Election Commission is expected to announce the schedule sometime this month.