Bihar Economic Survey (Ch-6)

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In the recent past, the state government has invested substantially in the infrastructure sector. This investment is prioritized for transport sectors, specially the road sector, because of its wide reach to the people.

  • The contribution of road transport has grown annually by 12.9 percent, whereas the contribution from airways has grown at an even higher annual rate of 35.2 percent.
  • Water transport registered a negative growth initially (2012-13 and 2013-14), but thereafter, it registered a 10.4 percent annual growth during the last four years.
  • The share of road sector in GSVA increasing from 3.5 percent (2011-12) to 5.2 percent (2017-18).
  • Similarly, the share of overall transport sectors in GSVA increased from 4.6 percent to 6.5 percent during the same period.

Roads Network

  • The public investment in the road sector has grown at the rate of 16.3 percent during the last seven years.
  • One of the seven resolves of the state government (Ghar Tak Pakki Gali Naliyaan) shows its commitment towards expansion of the rural road network.
  • In 2017-18, the expenditure on roads constituted 29.0 percent of the total expenditure in economic sectors, 11.6 percent of development expenditure, and 2.7 percent of the GSDP of the state.
  • Between 2004-05 and 2016-17, the maximum of NH was built in Maharashtra (3259 kms), followed by Uttar Pradesh (2884 kms) and Karnataka (2660 kms).
  • The highest length of SH was constructed in Karnataka (9988 kms), followed by Rajasthan (6776 kms) and Maharashtra (5763 kms).
  • Bihar was at the sixth position in terms of construction of NH and SH, and at fifth position in the context of other roads.
  • In terms of road density (per 100 square kilometer of area), Bihar was at the third position, after Kerala and West Bengal.
  • As on March 2017, road density for:

1. Kerala: 517 kms

2. West Bengal: 357 kms

3. Bihar: 219 kms

  • The total length of NH comprises 2 percent of total road length and 4 percent of surfaced roads.
  • Bihar is a densely populated state where no less than 1106 people reside in a square km of geographical area (2011 census). Therefore, apart from road length, the width of roads also matters for smooth transportation.
  • Therefore, apart from road length, the width of roads also matters for smooth transportation.
  • The road network has four categories according to their width — single lane (3.75 m.), intermediate lane (5.50 m.), double lane (7.00 m.) and multiple lanes (more than 7.00 m.).
  • Almost 80 percent of the NH and 70 percent of SH were in the category of double or multiple lanes, whereas only 13 percent of MDR come under double lane.

National Highways (NH)

  • A total of 43 NHs, measuring 4917 kms, run through Bihar as on September, 2018, constitutes only 2.3 percent of the road network in Bihar.
  • A major share (79 percent) of the NHs is of double and multiple lane roads; and the rest 21 percent was single or intermediate lane roads.
  • 3 districts, where expansion of NH was maximum are — Jamui (108 kms), Siwan (77.2 kms) and Banka (74 kms).
  • As on September 2018, Patna (8.03 percent), Muzaffarpur (5.28 percent) and Madhubani (4.8 percent) were lead districts in terms of share of NH.
  • As regards the road length, the share of NH is not only less in Bihar, it has also decreased from 5.13 percent (2010-11) to 4.86 percent (2015-16).
  • The National Highways Authority of India implements the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) which is India’s largest ever Highways Project.
  • Bihar has benefitted by obtaining 2621 kms. of NH under NHDP.
  • A total of 965 kms of NH is to be constructed under a World Bank Project, with an outlay of Rs. 5262 crore.
  • Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is supporting a road project for upgradation of 92.9 kms. of NH-82 (Gaya-Hisua-Rajgir- Nalanda-Biharsharif Section) to 4-lane standard.


  • Bihar would be benefited by Bharatmala Pariyojana having 9 projects involving 949 kms of NH:


State Highways Network

  • The total length of SH in Bihar was 4006 kms, which constituted 2.06 percent of the total road length in September 2018.
  • 70.1 percent of SH are multiple or double-lane roads, 12.5 percent intermediate lane roads, and 17.4 percent single lane roads
  • As on September 2018, Darbhanga (5.59 percent), Gaya (5.24 percent) and Patna (5.19 percent) were the leading districts in terms of share in total SH network.
  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide support for upgradation of all single and intermediate lane SH roads into two-lane roads, under the ambitious Bihar State Highways Project (BSHP).
  • Under BHSP-I, a total 9 SHs of 825.42 kms with a cost of Rs. 2630 crore was completed.
  • In Phase II of BSHP, road length of 388 kms of 5 SHs has been selected with a project cost of Rs. 2547 crore for upgradation into two-lane roads.
  • The ADB has also supported the construction of 6-lane Greenfield Bridge over the river Ganga from Kachi Dargah on NH-30 (Patna) to Bidupur on NH-103 (Vaishali).
  • Presently, the Ganga Pathway of 21.5 kms (Digha to Didarganj at Patna) is under construction, which includes 7.6 kms of elevated corridor having four lanes with divided carriageway.
  • A Greenfield Bridge across the river Ganga, connecting Bakhtiyarpur Bypass of NH-31 and Tajpur on NH-28 is being constructed at a cost of Rs 1602.74 crore under PPP project.

Major District Road Network

  • In terms of MDR network, Gaya (6.18 percent), Patna (5.42 percent) and Muzaffarpur (4.39 percent) accounted for the largest shares as on September 2018.

Left Wing Extremism-affected Area Road Development Scheme

  • Bihar is facing left-wing extremism in many districts.
  • In this background, 5 extremism affected districts (Arwal, Aurangabad, Gaya, Jamui and Jehanabad) have been selected under Road Requirement Plan-I (RRP-I) for 41 road projects by the central government.
  • There are 6 districts (Aurangabad, Gaya, Jamui, Nawada, Banka and Muzaffarpur) selected under RRP-II under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana for 60 road projects of 1052.3 kms road length.

Indo-Nepal Border Road Project

  • With a view to ensuring effective security along the international border between India and Nepal, the Indo-Nepal border road assumes greater significance.
  • The Indo-Nepal border road involves 127.3 kms of NH, 82.0 kms roads of Water Resource Department, and 211.0 kms of rural roads.

Rural Roads Network

  • ‘Ghar Tak Pakki Gali-Naliyaan’ is one of the components of ‘Saat Nishchay’ of the state government.
  • As on September 2018, a total of 1,29,473 kms of rural roads exist in Bihar, of which around 53 percent was paved.
  • As rural connectivity is on the highest priority of the state government, the paved rural roads increased by 24,988 kms in last five years, with the highest increase in Rohtas (1405 kms), followed by Muzaffarpur (1254 kms) and Aurangabad (1234 kms).
  • The top three districts in terms of share in total length of rural roads are — Muzaffarpur (5.02 percent), East Champaran (4.96 percent) and Madhubani (4.36 percent) as on September 2018.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) was launched in December, 2000 by the central government to provide connectivity to unconnected habitations, as a strategy for poverty alleviation.
  • PMGSY-II was launched in 2013 with the objectives of consolidating the existing rural road network.
  • The central government has identified 11 districts as left-wing extremism- affected and named them as Integrated Action Plan (IAP) districts.

Bihar State Road Development Corporation Limited (BSRDCL)

  • The Bihar State Road Development Corporation Limited (BSRDCL) was established in 2009 under the Company Act, 1956 with the objective of construction, repair and maintenance of road, bridge, tunnel and other physical infrastructure within or outside the state.

Bridge Sector

  • The river Ganga flows east to west in Bihar.
  • There were only four bridges on river Ganga at Buxar, Patna, Mokama and Bhagalpur till 2005. It is noteworthy that 2 more bridges (Ara–Chhapra and Jai Prakash Bridge) have been completed and 4 more bridges are under construction.
  • The Sultanganj Ghat bridge has unique features. As this bridge is located in the Dolphin Sanctuary Area, Dolphin glass observatory hanging from the bridge will be constructed. This bridge also has a combination of cable stayed and extra dose spans. The longest span will be of 270 m. length. The bridge also has Intelligence Traffic System (ITS) facility.
  • The Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Limited (BRPNNL) was established on June, 1975 as a public limited company.

Road Transport

  • The total registered vehicle was the highest in Maharashtra, which accounted for 12.1 percent of all- India total, followed by Tamil Nadu (10.5 percent) and Uttar Pradesh (10.4 percent).
  • Bihar was having 54.82 lakh registered vehicles which accounted for 2.4 percent of the all-India total and was ahead of only Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
  • Patna, being the state capital, is the most prosperous district, which is reflected through the highest ownership (45 percent) of luxurious vehicles like cars and jeeps in the district.
  • East Champaran was the leading district in terms of ownership of tractors. Similarly, Muzaffarpur was ahead in the ownership of trucks.
  • The Institutes of Driving & Traffic Research (IDTR), Aurangabad, is a joint venture between the Department of Transport and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. The IDTR was inaugurated by the Chief Minister on May 3, 2018.
  • The Bihar State Road Transport Corporation (BSRTC) was established in 1959 under the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950.

Railway Network

  • The Union Ministry of Railways had established the new zone of East Central Railway in 1996 which is functional since 2002.
  • As on March, 2016, there was a total of 6870 kms of rail track and 3731 kms of rail route in Bihar.
  • The share of rail route in Bihar was 5.6 percent of the national figure.
  • The density of rail route in Bihar was 39.6 kms per 1000 sq. km of area. However, Bihar had only 4.9 kms of rail route available for per lakh of population.
  • Two Greenfield Locomotive Factories are being set up in the state. The Locomotive factory in Madhepura has already started functioning and the Diesel Locomotive Factory will also be functioning shortly in Marhaura.
  • The Railways is developing two dedicated freight corridors to improve freight services.
  • The 1840 kms long Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor passes through four districts (Kaimur, Rohtas, Aurangabad and Gaya) of Bihar.
  • The total stretch of this corridor is about 240 kms in Bihar and is built at an estimated cost of Rs. 6900 crore.

Civil Aviation

  • Air transport has registered a high annual growth of 35.2 percent since 2011-12.
  • The Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) in India was introduced in October, 2016, as part of the National Civil Aviation Policy. This scheme is popularly known as UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik).
  • Under UDAN-I, no town was selected in Bihar for air connectivity.
  • However, it is heartening to note that now Darbhanga has been included under UDAN-II.

Building Construction

  • It is noteworthy that the state government has won the tenth Vishwakarma Award in 2018, given by the construction Industry Development Council (CIDC), for the excellent Construction of Samrat Ashok Convention Centre in Patna.
  • The state government had envisioned a museum to preserve Bihar’s historical heritage and underline the archeological places for the future generation.
  • In this background, a world-class Bihar Museum has been constructed in Patna at a cost of Rs. 517.34 crore. A convention centre Bapu Sabhagar, has been built with a capacity of 5000 seats and Gyan Bhavan with 800 seats at a cost of Rs. 490 crore.
  • Sabhyata Dwar, built in the state, is taller than the Gateway of India, Mumbai.
  • The Bihar Museum has bagged two international awards (International Forum Design Award 2018 and Curious Design Blue Elephant Award 2018) for its design.
  • Bihar State Building Construction Corporation Limited was established in 2008.

Irrigation Infrastructure

  • The productivity of cereals in Bihar increased from 1344 kg per hectare in 2005-06 to 2839 kg per hectare in 2017-18.
  • Similarly, cropping intensity has also increased from 1.31 in 2005-06 to 1.45 in 2017-18, though varying across the regions.
  • The cereals and pulses account for more than 90 percent of the gross sown area.

International Project

  • The Saptakosi high dam project has been proposed to provide the benefit of irrigation, flood management, hydel power and water transport for both India and Nepal.
  • A total of 9.76 lakh ha. of land will be irrigated through this project in India and 5.46 lakh ha. of area in Nepal. The potential of this dam for hydel power is estimated to be 3000-5500 MW through Saptakosi and 61 MW through Sun Kosi Diversion projects.

Inter-state Project

  • Indrapuri Jalashaya Yojana: Indrapuri Reservoir Scheme envisages the construction of 3.9 Km long and 45 m high earth dam across the river Sone connecting Kadwan and Matiawan Villages on the right and left banks in Palamu and Rohtas districts respectively in Bihar. At Present Bansagar Project in sunder construction across the Sone river in the state of M.P.
  • Bansagar Jalashaya Yojana is under Sone valley in Madhya Pradesh, in cooperation with Uttar Pradesh and Bihar with an agreement of sharing cost-benefit in ratio of 2:1:1.
  • Under a Bihar-West Bengal agreement in 1978, two projects proposed. One of them was Tilaiya-Dhandhar diversion scheme, which will provide benefit to Bihar and Jharkhand.
  • Another project, Upper Mahananda Irrigation Project, is pending with the Central Water Commission, under which 67.00 thousand acres land is proposed to be provided with the irrigation facility through Phulwari Barrage in West Bengal on river Mahananda.
  • Other common Projects of Bihar and Jharkhand are — (i) Uttar Koyal Jalashaya Yojana, (ii) Batane Jalashaya Yojana, (iii) Bateshwarsthan Ganga Pump Nahar Yojana, (iv) Chandan Jalashaya Yojana, (v) Upper Sakari Jalashaya Yojana and (vi) Barnar Jalashaya Yojana.
  • Under Agricultural Road Map III (2017-22), the state government plans to create additional irrigation potential of 8.25 lakh ha. — Ahar-Pyne (5.56 lakh ha.), weir scheme (1.82 lakh ha.), lift irrigation scheme (0.88 lakh ha) and other schemes (0.99 lakh ha.).
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) : As on date, 47 Ahar Pyne schemes in the districts of Nawada, Rohtas, Kaimur and Sitamarhi are being implemented out of which 12 schemes have been completed.
  • Bihar Shatabdi Nalkup Yojana: The state government provides grants upto a maximum of Rs. 15,000 for 70 meter deep and Rs. 35,000 for 100 meter deep tubewell to farmers under this scheme. In addition, 50 percent of the cost of motor pumpset is also provided under this scheme, subject to a maximum of Rs. 10,000. All the grants are transferred through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme.
  • Fifth Minor Irrigation Census of Bihar has been done in 2013-14.
  • While comparing 4th and 5th censuses, it is found that there is an increase in Cultivated Command Area (CCA) from 24.26 lakh ha. in 4th census to 38.35 lakh ha. in 5th census.
  • According to 5th census, 80.0 percent of minor irrigation schemes were operated on diesel, while 15.5 percent were operated on electricity. There were 18,034 schemes which were not owned individually.

Telephone Network

  • The telecom sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Bihar.
  • The contribution of communication sector in GSVA of the state has increased from 2.2 percent in 2011-12 to 2.9 percent in 2017-18.
  • Tele-density refers to the number of telephone per 100 in the population.
  • Bihar witnessed an increase in its tele-density from 54 in 2016 to 63 in 2018.
  • In case of rural tele- density, Bihar is at second lowest position among major states of India, with 44 connections per 100 people.
  • However, Bihar appears at second from top in terms of urban tele-density, after Kerala.
  • The national average in 2018 is 93 connections, and Tamil Nadu with 136 connections is at the top in terms of overall tele-density.

Postal Network

  • A total of 9047 post offices were in existence in Bihar in March, 2017, 8590 (95 percent) in rural areas and 457 (5 percent) in urban.
  • In terms of share in the all-India postal network, the share of Bihar at 5.8 percent is low, since Bihar accounts for 8.6 percent of country’s population.
  • In terms of letter boxes, the top five states are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka; accounting for 45 percent of the letter boxes.
  • Bihar accounted for 4.6 percent of all-India total of letter boxes.

Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure

  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a prime sector in Bihar.
  • During 2011-12 to 2016-17, it has been growing annually by 10.7 percent; in 2017-18, it grew at a even faster rate of 16.6 percent.
  • The contribution of communication sector was nearly 3 percent in the GSVA (Gross State Value Added) during 2017-18, up from 2.2 percent in 2011-12.
  • As per a resolution of the state government, under ‘Saat Nishchay’, free Wi-Fi services are being provided in all state-run university and colleges with an objective of good governance.
  • The state government is also working towards making Bihar an Information Technology (IT) Hub.
  • Towards that objective, a decision has been taken to build an IT city in Rajgir (Nalanda) on 111.17 acres of land.