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Rural roads deadline

Ranchi, Dec. 11: Chief minister Hemant Soren set a three-year target for connecting the hinterland with all-weather roads during a review meeting of the rural works department (RWD) today.

Faced with a reality that around 3,000 hamlets of the state did not have pucca road connectivity as of today, Hemant said, “If the department takes up 1,000 roads in a year, the task can be completed in three years or so.”

The chief minister also asked officials to ensure that there was no compromise on the quality of rural roads executed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

“The roads must be built at the same level as houses in villages,” Hemant said, alluding to the common complaint that several district roads had been constructed at a level higher than the village homes.

Today’s review meeting was attended by minister Simon Marandi, department secretary Santosh Kumar Satpathy, chief secretary R.S. Sharma, chief minister’s principal secretary Sukhdev Bhagat, planning and development secretary D.K. Tiwari and others.

The chief minister said there was no database on roads under construction and with several departments involved in the projects, there was every possibility of duplication.

Hemant held another meeting to review the functioning of the water resources department, but its minister, Annapurna Devi of the RJD, stayed away as a mark of protest against the state government’s insistence on open auction to finalise rights for sand mining along river beds.