Hazaribagh, Oct. 14: Hazaribagh MP Yashwant Sinha today said that 51 roads in town would be upgraded with money allotted under the Centre’s Backward Region Grant Fund, with district officials promising him to soon start the projects.
The former external affairs minister, who summoned DC Manish Ranjan deputy development commissioner Debar Joko at circuit house this morning to know about the status of pending road projects, also rued that even minor plans took much time for clearance.
Sinha said the DC confirmed to him that the monsoon rain had delayed upgrade of the roads, a majority of which had been in a pitiable condition for nearly three years.
The MP said that he was in touch with chief minister Arjun Munda and would request the latter to engage a government agency to repair Barkagaon-Keredari Road.
He added that considering the huge traffic caused mainly by heavy vehicles on Zakir Hussain Road and Hurhuru Road, he had asked the district officials to rope in experts from Ranchi to repair the stretches.
Responding to the public ire at elected representatives, including him, Sinha said that as an MP, his role was to recommend projects while the onus was on the administration to execute them. “The district has a municipal board and zilla parishad to take up all the works. As an MP, I have no executive role.”
He pointed out that the projects were often caught in bureaucratic red tape, which resulted in wastage of time.
“I always support appropriate use of government funds. But I will say that I am disappointed with the speed of development work in the district,” he added.
The BJP leader also promised to take up the issue of frequent power cuts in the district with officials concerned in the state capital.
He further informed that the DC had approved a plan to revive a pond spread across 53 acres, lying unused for want of desiltation, at Bakshpura village in Vishnugarh block. The MP had toured the village two months ago.
Sinha told The Telegraph he had also asked Ranjan to sort out controversies over beautification of Chhath Talab, which is situated in the heart of Hazaribagh.
National Thermal Power Corporation had agreed to beautify the pond set up boundary walls, but a section of people have demanded that roadside vendors should be allowed to continue their business next to the pond. They have also demanded that commuters be allowed to park vehicles near the pond, as earlier, while nearby residents are opposed to this.
Sinha said he had asked Ranjan to talk to both parties and take a decision that is acceptable to all.
The BJP leader, whose MP local area development (LAD) fund was under the Centre’s scanner, added that the confusion over it had been recently cleared.
District officials, who have to submit regular updates on funds spent under the MP’s corpus, had last month shown expenses that exceeded the limit by Rs 1crore.
A team led by Joko, which visited New Delhi on October 8, discovered that the district administration had erroneously included funds received by Sinha during his tenure as Rajya Sabha MP, prior to the 2009 elections, in the list submitted to the Centre.