Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday launched national highways and waterways projects worth more than Rs 3,400 crore during his day-long visit to East Champaran and West Champaran districts of Bihar.
Gadkari, who holds road transport and highways, and shipping, water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation portfolios, also addressed the concluding ceremony of a three-day farmers' conclave in Motihari, the district headquarters of East Champaran.
The Union minister began his visit from Bagaha in West Champaran, where he inaugurated and laid foundation stones for projects worth Rs 366.62 crore, which included two road overbridge (ROB) approach roads for National Highway 28, an official release said. He also laid the foundation stone for a 300 km national waterway from Balmiki Nagar in Bagaha to the confluence of river Gandak and Ganga in Hajipur.
At Motihari, Gadkari launched projects worth Rs 2,540 crore which included widening of an 83.24 km-long stretch on National Highway 227A, which would cost Rs 1,285 crore, and four-laning of an 81.11 km-long section on National Highway 74, which would cost Rs 1,254 crore.
At the 'Kisan Kumbh', Gadkari spoke of pro-farmer measures taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, including an increase in the minimum support price and promoting the blending of ethanol, produced as a by-product during the process of making sugar from sugarcane, in petrol and diesel.
He said the government, in keeping with its commitment to cleanse Ganga, had launched schemes worth Rs 26,000 crore.
The farmers' conclave was also attended by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
Later, the Union ministers left for Raxaul in East Champaran where projects worth Rs 505 crore were launched. These included widening of a 40 km-long stretch on National Highway 28B and a 69 km-long stretch on National Highway 28A.