GUWAHATI, Dec 19 � Opposition members today rapped the State Government over the inordinate delay in execution of work on the East West Corridor in the State, and accused it of failing to expedite the project by putting pressure on the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Centre.
The Opposition also criticized the State Government over the poor quality of rural roads constructed under the PMGSY.
PWD Minister Ajanta Neog, while admitting the delay, told the Assembly that land acquisition had been a major irritant but 90 per cent of land acquisition was completed last year, and that the State Government was taking up the matter with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Centre.
The minister revealed that of the 670 km stretch in the State, 363 km was completed.
Neog also said that the State Government providing the necessary support and logistics to the NHAI, and expressed hope that the project would see completion by 2013.
Keshab Mahanta (AGP) said that as against 80 per cent completion in other States of the country, a meagre 50 per cent had been completed in Assam. He also alleged that the NHAI was shirking its responsibility of building and maintaining the service roads, leading to a spurt in road accidents and traffic congestion.
Prafulla Kumar Mahanta (AGP) said that the absence of a stringent monitoring mechanism was resulting in compromise in quality control in construction of roads under the PMGSY, and that the guidelines on quality control were being routinely flouted. Besides, he added, no complaint regarding poor work was being entertained.
Neog, in her reply, admitted that contractors were not adhering to the five-year maintenance provision after a road was constructed. She said that strict directives were being issued to the PWD officials regarding maintenance of road quality, and that there had been withdrawal of packages from contractors found guilty of lapses.