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Soren salvo spurs action on roads

Ranchi, Sept. 14: Apparently perturbed at Shibu Soren’s comment that “engineers in the state make potholes instead of roads”, the government intends to spend Rs 20 crore this fiscal on upkeep of national highways (NH).

As of now, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), a wing of the Union ministry of surface transport, has been entrusted with the laying, widening and repairing of over 1700km-stretch of road under seven national highway divisions in the state. The NH wing of the state road construction department acts as an executing agency for different projects sanctioned by the Union ministry.

“We have proposed that the state government could spend about Rs 20 crore per annum for the upkeep of NH stretches, majority of which are in bad shape. The Centre could reimburse the same upon realisation of the project,” the state road construction department secretary, Arun Kumar Singh, told The Telegraph.

Singh mentioned the case of the neighbouring Bihar government, which has already taken consent for the same from the Centre. He added that Rs 20 crore could be utilised to carry out periodical repair of roads and bridges considering “priorities and urgency”.

The urgency on the state government’s part to use funds from its own coffers for the upkeep of NH stretches in a bad shape followed Soren’s remark after he was released from the jail and visited several places by road.

Besides, a taskforce has also been constituted, whose members have visited stretches of NH-75 (extension), NH-23, NH-75, NH-31 and NH-33 to get a first-hand experience about the condition of NHs in the state.

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