JP Ganga Path: Everything You Should Know About Patna’s Own ‘Marine Drive’
The ‘marine drive’ is part of the Ganga Path development project, which includes a 20.5km long four-lane expressway between Digha and Didarganj in Patna.
On Friday (24 June), Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar inaugurated the first phase of the Ganga Path in Patna, giving the city its own ‘Marine Drive’.
The corridor, which connects Digha to Patna Medical College and Hospital (previously the Prince of Wales Medical College), has been compared to Mumbai’s Marine Drive and London’s Thames Path. The road has come up along the Ganga River on a 13m high dam.
This stretch is part of the Ganga Path development project, which includes a 20.5km long four-lane expressway between Digha to Didarganj in Patna. In the second phase, the road will be extended by around 18km to Fatuha, an important industrial centre 24km east of Patna.
“A part of the JP Ganga Path is now ready. It will be completed by the start of 2024 to provide facility to people… work is being done in a good manner… expansion is to be done on both sides,” the Chief Minister was quoted as saying at the inauguration event on Friday.
The project is being executed jointly by the Government of India’s Housing and Urban Development Corporation and the Government of Bihar. The project cost is estimated to be Rs 3,160 crore.
The project was conceptualised in 2010 and accepted by the government in 2011. The foundation stone for the project was laid by Chief Minister Kumar on 11 October 2013, on the birth anniversary of politician and activist Jayaprakash Narayan, popularly referred to as JP.
“Work on Ganga Path had started in 2013, but it got stalled for a few years due to various reasons. We took a loan of Rs 2,000 crore from Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) in September last year, following which the work was expedited,” Bihar’s Road Construction Minister Nitin Nabin told media after the inauguration.
The road will cut down the travel time between Digha to PMCH, a stretch prone to traffic jams, to around 15 to 20 minutes, the minister added.
The new stretch will ensure a smooth traffic flow between east and west Patna and ease traffic congestion at Ashok Rajpath.
The Ganga Path is part of a larger urban rejuvenation plan for Patna.
Once completed, it would connect National Highway 30 and the AIIMS-Digha elevated corridor in the west with the upcoming six-lane Kacchi Dargah-Bidupur bridge over River Ganga in the east of the city.
Along with the ‘Marine Drive’, Patna is also working on developing a riverfront along the Ganga under a World Bank-funded project.
Under this project, 20 ghats and three cultural centres were to be developed in a stretch of 2.3km. The project, however, has faced multiple delays.