Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday urged Union Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to sanction of Rs 1,100 crores for construction of steel bridges to ensure rural connectivity.

In a letter, the Chief Minister said the state government has identified 454 Long Span Bridges (LSB) including 250 steel bridges for construction, which will cost approximately Rs 1,100 crores, an official press release said.

Baghel said that if these bridges are built, the tribal and rural population will have superior road connectivity which will enable the state to bring them to the mainstream of development, improving their economic status.

He pointed out that the Bastar division is hit by Left Wing Extremism and it suffers from geographical disadvantages due to dense forests and borders with other states.

Till now, 1,375 roads (7,228 km) have been constructed in Bastar division and another 692 roads (3,009 km) are being built.

He added that due to Naxalite activities and time-consuming construction time, Long Span Bridges (LSB) are not feasible on these roads. Instead, construction of steel bridges is preferred owning to prefabricated nature of steel bridges, thus reducing the construction time.

He said that even maintenance and upgradation time is also significantly less for steel bridges and these bridges can be relocated or shifted conveniently as per the need.

The Chief Minister told the Union Minister that the state has till now constructed 7.300 rural roads amounting to 33,622 km along with 264 LSB including nine steel bridges. Furthermore, 1,240 roads (7,737 km) along with 114 LSB are under construction.