In its report on Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has expressed its concern over the “indecisive approach” of the Ministry while implementing ADB-assisted NESRIP project of road construction. The scheme has a target of construction and upgradation of 433 km in two tranches. The first part of the scheme, which started in 2012, is to be completed in 2017 at an estimated cost of Rs 339.59 crore provided for construction and upgrade of 197.3 km length of road in Assam, Meghalaya and Sikkim.
“However, against the target of 74.7 km (58.5+16.2) of road in Assam, only 46.9 km has been achieved and in Meghalaya, out of a target of 93.4 km only 14.4 km has been achieved while no work has commenced against the target of 29.2 km (9.5+19.7) km in Sikkim,” it said.
The second phase of the project from May 2014-2020 with a cost of Rs 568.408 crore aims to provide for construction and upgradation of 236.125 km of roads in Assam, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.
“To the utmost surprise of the Committee, there is no progress in the work taken up, despite the fact that Rs 161.67 crore has been released,” it noted.
The committee recommended that the Ministry of DoNER must “enquire into the dismal situation” and chalk out a strategy to accelerate the implementation of the ADB-assisted NESRIP project on road construction without time and cost overrun.
“The Committee further recommends that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Rural Development and North East Council should make concerted efforts to achieve the targets of road construction under SARDPNE, PMGSY and North East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS) so that a network of roads is laid down in NER,” it said.
This, the Committee said, will provide means of transport and connectivity to enable trade, tourism and other activities to flourish.
Source: The People’s Chronicle