Japanese bank to fund roads for Bihar’s Buddhist circuit

IANS, August 11, 2008

Patna, India -- The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has agreed to fund the construction of 481.20 km of four-lane roads for Bihar’s Buddhist tourism circuit, officials said Monday.

“JBIC has finally agreed to fund the construction of four-lane roads in the Buddhist circuit,” said R.K. Singh, principal secretary of the road construction department.

He said the JBIC has assured the government of Rs.16 billion for the construction of four-lane roads. Under the project, the existing 275 km stretch of the Bakhtiarpur-Biharsharif-Nalanda-Rajgir-Hisua-Gaya-Bodh Gaya route will be fully upgraded.

The roads connecting Buddhist holy shrines are in poor condition, discouraging foreign tourists from travelling to the region.

“The Bihar government will submit the project plan by October. The report is almost ready. A consultant will study the sites in November, followed by a JBIC fact finding mission,” Singh said.

“We hope that the work on the project would start from April next year,” he added.

The state government had submitted a feasibility report to the Japanese bank in February.