Mahatma Gandhi Setu– all about this lifeline bridge ( Hajipur- Patna)
Mahatma Gandhi Setu which connects Patna to Hajipur is also known as the lifeline of north Bihar.
Mahatma Gandhi Setu is built on the Ganges River. After the construction of this bridge, South Bihar’s connectivity with North Bihar became easier.
Along with this, the development of nearby districts also took place. The development of Hajipur, Muzaffarpur, and Sitamarhi was completed only after its construction.
Before the construction of this bridge, going from Hajipur to Patna was a very difficult task. People used to cross the river by boat. Crossing the river Ganges by boat was neither safe nor time-saving.
The construction of Mahatma Gandhi Setu started about 25 years after independence, the reason behind this was the huge cost involved. And the heavy flow of the Ganges River. The construction of this bridge was started only after much research.
The Gandhi Setu has been constructed as part of the national highway 19. Which connects north Bihar and south Bihar in front of Patna.
This bridge was built of 4 lanes. Together, footpaths were also built for both the people on foot. The width of the footpath is about 7 feet.
The eastern lane work was completed in 1972, while the western lane was completed in 1962.
The name of Mahatma Gandhi Setu was recorded in the Limca book. When this bridge was built, it was the longest bridge in Asia.
Total no. of pillar in Mahatma Gandhi Setu-
Mahatma Gandhi Setu, whose total length is about 4 km, has 4 pillars. The distance between each pillar is 45 meters.
History of Mahatma Gandhi Setu-
Before the construction of Mahatma Gandhi Setu, it was a very difficult task for the people of north Bihar to go to Patna.
People from Hajipur, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, and other districts either had to travel to Patna by boat or use the Rajendra bridge, about 75 km from Patna.
In the cycle of crossing the river Ganga to Patna by boat, people were falling into the accident. To solve all these problems, a proposal was made to construct the Mahatma Gandhi Bridge.
But due to lack of money, work started in the mid-70s. The Government of India had passed the budget of this bridge in the budget of 1979. After this, its contract was awarded to Gammon India Limited construction company.
Which took more than 10 years to build the bridge. Construction of Mahatma Gandhi Bridge started – in 1972.
the construction work of Mahatma Gandhi bridge was to be completed – in the year 1960But for some reason, the construction work of Mahatma Gandhi bridge was completed in 1972.
The Mahatma Gandhi Setu was inaugurated in May 1972 by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The day was a celebration for the people of Patna and north Bihar. People did not believe that the Ganga river could be built on it. For many years to come, there was a large number of people who came to see this bridge.
How much did it cost to build the Mahatma Gandhi Bridge?
About 88 crore rupees were spent in the construction of Gandhi bridge. Initial estimates were about Rs. 47 crores, but the cost of construction of the bridge increased greatly as the work was not completed on time.
The cost incurred twice during the bridge construction. The cost of bridge construction will increase with time, its provision was already in the contract of the bridge.
It was very difficult to construct such a big bridge in the 70s, which is more than about 7 km in length. Sometimes the work stopped for months.
Reason for increasing expenditure in Mahatma Gandhi bridge construction work
The entire expenditure of Mahatma Gandhi bridge construction increased almost 3 times from the initial estimate, which was due to the following reasons-
- Due to bad weather, many times the bridge construction work had to be stopped for months.
- The construction work went back about 1 year due to the 1979 storm.
- Due to the strike of the workers, the construction of the bridge was also very
- At that time there was no proper supply of cement.
All these problems were foreseen during the construction of the bridge, hence it was proposed to increase the budget of the bridge.
What were the difficulties in building the Mahatma Gandhi Bridge?
There were a lot of problems in the construction of Gandhi Setu, some of them are as follows-
- Ganges river flowRiver Ganga at the time of the flood (during the flood or during the rains, the Ganga river bed is in the entire bottom, from Patna to Hajipur)
- budget constraint
- Lack of technology.
On which technology is Mahatma Gandhi bridge built?
Mahatma Gandhi Setu was constructed with a new type of technology. It is built on pre-stress technology. In this technology, the distance between the two pillars is more.
Which at that time was considered right to build a bridge over the Ganges river, but later it proved to be wrong.
And so today the work of healing the upper structure of the bridge is going on again. The upper structure of the bridge is being replaced by a steel structure.
What is the reason for the Gandhi bridge being so bad so early?
The reason for Gandhi Setu’s deterioration within 30 years is all this-
- Not well kept
- Accurate traffic was not assessed at the time of construction.
- Passing heavy vehicle overcapacity
- Flooding of rainwater in concrete box.
- The technology with which the bridge was built failed.
How much traffic is currently on Mahatma Gandhi Setu?
About 70 thousand vehicles pass through Mahatma Gandhi every day. Nearly 10,000 people on foot and motorcycle also pass by.
The traffic of the bridge is many times more than its capacity.
When will Mahatma Gandhi bridge be rebuilt?
After a lot of trouble in the Mahatma Gandhi bridge, the bridge was re-surveyed, in which it was found that the pillars of the bridge are in good condition, but the upper structure has completely deteriorated.
There is no benefit to repairing the upper structure. Therefore, it was decided to replace the upper concrete structure with steel structure. For this, the Bihar government awarded the contract to a private company in 2014.
This company is doing the work of making steel structures with a great noise. By 2020, the work of bringing the west will be completed.
After that, the work of bringing the east will start, which will take about 2 years to complete.
People will get some relief from the jam when the work of bringing one is completed in 2020.
How long does the Pipa bridge work near Gandhi Setu?
Seeing the huge jam on the Gandhi bridge, the Bihar government constructed the Pipa bridge in parallel 2014 of the bridge.
All small vehicles such as cars, tempo, and bikes can pass over the keg bridge. Except for 6 months of rain and flood, the bridge works for the remaining 6 months. Due to this bridge, the jam on Gandhi Setu gets a huge relief.
Pipa bridge has just become a lifeline for Gandhi Setu.
Timing of Pipa pul working-
The pipa bridge was usually closed for safety after 7 pm. But given the condition of the jam, the government may arrange the light this year and the Pipa Bridge can work even at night.
What is the latest condition of Mahatma Gandhi Setu?
The current condition of Mahatma Gandhi bridge is very bad. (October 2019). If you are passing through the bridge, then there is no guarantee in how long you will cross the bridge.
Day and day jamming on the Gandhi Setu has become a normal thing. It takes even 5–5 hours for people to cross the Gandhi Setu. Some relief is expected only after the Pipa Bridge is operationalized.
There is a heavy jam on both sides before entering the bridge. The same condition remains on the bridge. Vehicles on the bridge are not moving, they crawl. A little relief has come from the Sonepur Digha bridge for small vehicles.
How long will the condition of Gandhi Setu improve?
The blockage on the Gandhi bridge will be relieved only when the steel structure of the bridge is both brought to work.
Which will take another 3 years from work to work. Another bridge will be built parallel to the Gandhi bridge, after which traffic will be worked from the bridge. And then people will get relief from the jam on the bridge.
Another bridge that is being built on the Ganges river, Bidupur – Bakhtiyarpur people will get some relief even after this bridge is ready.