| Road woes |
March 18: The Union urban development ministry has rejected the GMC’s plea to hand over the Rs 25-crore scheme to repair the city’s inner roads to it.
GMC chief administrator Robin Bordoloi had written to the Union ministry last month, urging it to hand over the project immediately in view of the gross irregularities and corruption in repairing roads by the National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC).
The ministry had entrusted the construction company to repair and construct 180 inner roads of the city at the cost of Rs 25 crore.
The execution of the project, however, ran into rough weather following the detection of unfair practices among city-based NBCC officials by the CBI.
“Since the NBCC is the nodal agency for the Union ministry, the project cannot be handed over to the GMC for execution. Funds have already been released to the NBCC and the company has started the process of calling tenders for the project. Under these circumstances, the project cannot be handed over to the GMC even if its execution can be delayed because of the CBI’s investigation,” a source said.
Sources also said the Union ministry was not happy with the expertise and equipment available with the GMC for repair of the roads.
“The Union ministry has set strict guidelines for quality road construction. With the existing manpower and expertise available with the GMC it will not be able to adhere to the guidelines. The NBCC is executing the central government schemes across and there cannot be an exception in Guwahati,” the source said.
Under a scheme, launched in 2006 by the Centre for integrated development of roads and bylanes, the NBCC has repaired 469 roads and bylanes under the GMC’s jurisdiction at a cost of Rs 48.8 crore till this date.
When contacted Bordoloi said he had not yet received any reply of his letter sent to the NBCC last month.
He said execution of the project had already been delayed and he did not see anything positive that it would be started at the earliest.
Bordoloi, who is contesting the Lok Sabha poll from Guwahati, said he could again take up the matter with NBCC only after the elections.
An official of Guwahati development department said the Union ministry’s rejection would not hamper the city road development. He said the GDD had already released Rs 100 crore to the PWD to repair city roads.