The Union government on Thursday cleared the four laning of the 93 km Gaya-Biharsharif section of the National Highway to be mostly funded by interest-free Japanese loan.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved the widening of Gaya-Hisua-Rajgir-Nalanda-Biharsharif section of National Highway 82 to four lanes at an estimated cost at Rs. 1408.85 crore which includes the cost of land acquisition, relief and rehabilitation put at Rs. 192.69 crore. The civil and supervision work, expected to be completed in three years, is estimated to entail an expenditure of Rs. 1216.16 crore.

The section is part of the Buddhist circuit and the widening of this section will make journey to Nalanda from Gaya smoother, besides developing Gaya as a regional service centre for the locals and pilgrimage destination.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has committed to loan assistance with 100 per cent finance for civil construction and supervision work of the entire stretch.

The CCEA also cleared the six laning of the 6.7 km long Vadodara-Surat section of NH-8 including the construction of a four land extra dosed bridge across Narmada River and two eight land flyovers in Bharuch district of Gujarat at an estimated cost of Rs. 503.16 crore.

The cost includes land acquisition, relief and rehabilitation package of Rs. 17 crore. The upgradation is aimed at easing the flow of traffic on this busy stretch.