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Panel suggests use of road funds

- Transport ministry urged to use allocated amount to attain target

Guwahati, Dec. 16: The parliamentary standing committee on transport, tourism and culture has recommended to the transport ministry that national highways in the Northeast should receive the required funds to make them all-weather motorable roads to resolve the problem of connectivity in the region.

The statement assumes importance as against the allocation of Rs 6,210 crore in the 11th Plan for Special Accelerated Road Development Programme (Northeast), the expenditure was Rs 4,984.76 crore.

The committee in its report, which was placed in Parliament recently, stated that the transport ministry should improve its performance in spending the allocated funds and in achieving the targets set for development of national highways in the Northeast in the coming years so that economic growth, trade and tourism are not affected because of non-availability of motorable roads in this part of the country.

“Many of the reasons for delay in the execution of projects at various places of the Northeast need individualised attention and local solutions. The committee recommends that to remove the bottlenecks, the authorities and agencies concerned may be approached and activated,” it stated.

The ministry said delay in acquiring land by state governments, in clearing forests and in preparing detailed project reports by PWDs and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) had resulted in sanctioning of lesser length of roads as against targets.

It said Arunachal Pradesh PWD lacked organisational set-up and capabilities, the BRO was not in synchronisation with the ministry’s priorities and the quantum of work with the organisation was much more than its capability

It cited other reasons for the delay as a problem in clearance of road over bridges by railways and law and order situations in some areas.

The committee states that the ministry will take up the funding of Phase B under the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme (Northeast), comprising 35 roads with an aggregate length of 3,723km during the 12th Plan, with the Planning Commission aggressively.

The ministry said it was in the process of setting up office of the level of chief engineers at three locations in the region to ensure that the targets set under the programme were met. The office will also attend to local issues/bottlenecks affecting the progress of the projects in the region.

The bottlenecks during implementation are being taken up with state-level committees headed by chief secretary from time to time.

The draft Twelfth Five Year Plan states that the trans-Arunachal highway along with identified district connectivity, strategic border roads, roads connecting Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project and important bridges, including Dhola-Sadia over the Brahmaputra, and all other crucial bridges on the major road projects need special attention.


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