HP government refutes reports of receiving one lakh crore for NH

Jun 20, 2017 16:50 | Poltics
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The Himachal Government has contradicted the reports appearing in a section of media regarding receiving of over rupees one lakh crore for construction of 68 new National Highways and its inability to spend this amount.

An official spokesperson of the State Government said here today that it is wrong to say that rupees one-lakh crore stands sanctioned or remitted to the State. It is far from truth as all disbursements and payments are made by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for national highways works and inter-State connectivity under Central Road Fund (CRF). He further stated that there is no laxity in preparation of detailed project reports DPRs) as over Rs. 800 crore DPRs have been prepared under NABARD and over Rs. 2500 crore of sanction received on basis of DPR prepared under PMGSY.

He said the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has approved an annual plan for the year 2017-18 only of Rs. 270 crore and a total Rs. 469 crore when consultancy, land acquisition and bridges etc. were also taken into consideration.

The fact is that on 14 September, 2016, the Ministry had issued a list of 61 roads declared as in principle national highways and subsequently seven other roads were also included of which three were being constructed by the National Highway Development Infrastructure Ltd. and pre-feasibility report for Manikaran-Pulga road (district Kullu) part of Old Hindustan Tibet Road (Shimla and Baddi-Kasauli-Dharampur(Solan) have been prepared.

He clarified that Himachal Government does not receive any money directly, and the same is sanctioned and paid directly by Government of India, to the consultants and the contractors. With regard to the 61 new roads, the Government of Himachal Pradesh has invited tenders on numerous occasions and taken up with Government of India, seeking relaxation in the norms whereby the consultants could be finalized to prepare DPR. In fact, technical and financial bids have been opened for 36 roads and the same are being sent to the Union Government approval.

He said Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh had taken up the matter with Government of India to authorise preparation of such DPRs directly by the State PWD or  Himachal Pradesh Road Infrastructure Development Corporation (HPRIDC), which agency is implementing the World Bank projects. He also stated that it is not fair to blame the State Government and make such generalized allegations regarding delay. In fact of the 10, road approvals sought during March, 2017 only two roads have been approved till date by Government of India. Therefore, it is wrong to say that rupees one lakh crore stands sanctioned or remitted to the State Government.

 

The spokesperson said Himachal Government would welcome a further decentralization of such administrative and financial powers to the State Government which would expedite work on these 'principle National Highways' so that a robust, reliable and efficient road network is developed for the benefit of the people of Himachal.