Scarcity of funds has put major railways bridge projects for Bihar in limbo. Even after 10 years, they, still, are in the construction phase. However, the ministry has promised healthy flow of funds to these projects from next fiscal.
Important projects, such as Sonepur-Digha and Munger rail cum road bridges, have run into series of deadline failures due to insufficient funding. These projects were announced by the NDA government in 2002, when Nitish Kumar, the current chief minister of Bihar, had the reins of the Railway Ministry.
These projects were scheduled to be completed by 2007. However, after 3 deadline failures, the ministry now expects them to be ready by 2017.
According to the railways officials even after 10 years of work not even 50 percent of the work is complete. "We are trying our best", said one of the officials associated with the Sonpur-Digha Rail cum Road Bridge project, "but we have no funds. This has hampered the construction work. All the funds allotted for this project in this fiscal were used up in June itself. Only, 20-25 percent of the work has been completed. We need more funding to complete the project by 2017."
Initially, the estimated cost of the project was Rs 450 crores. However, the delay has increased the cost by almost 7 times.
The ministry now have spend up to Rs 3,000 crores for this project, as told by the official.