Imphal, July 10 2017: Whereas the State Government asked for an assistance of Rs 500 crore from the Central Road Fund (CRF) for construction and repairing roads handled by the State PWD, the Government of India has maintained that only Rs 26 crore is available.
In a letter sent to Chief Minister N Biren, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari categorically stated that Centre cannot provide more than Rs 26 crore from CRF, conveyed a well placed source .
Notably, the Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping came to Imphal not long after the coalition Government led by BJP was sworn in .
During his visit to the State, the Union Minister suggested the State Government to send a proposal of Rs 400/500 crore to the Central Government .
Taking due note of the Union Minister’s suggestion and after considering the matter with PWD officials and engineers, the State Government decided to send a proposal of Rs 500 crore to improve the State highways and major district roads .
After the proposal of Rs 500 crore was fixed, another meeting was held during which Works Minister Thongam Biswajit suggested upgradation of IVRs and ODRs to the level of major district roads .
It was also agreed to invest Rs 10 crore in each Assembly Constituency through the respective MLAs out of the Rs 500 crore sought from the Centre for improvement of road infrastructure .
Although it was not sure whether the proposal of Rs 500 crore would be approved by the Centre or not, some MLAs submitted proposals of up to Rs 15 crore, informed the source .
Endorsed with a DO letter written by Chief Minister N Biren, then PWD Chief Engineer M Lokendro and AE (National Highway) Y Joykumar submitted a proposal of Rs 500 crore together with a list of several works to the Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping on April 22.Since then, the State Government remained quite upbeat on the prospect of receiving Rs 500 crore from the Centre.
However, much to the disappointment of the State Government, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari sent a letter to Chief Minister N Biren on June 14 informing that not more than Rs 26 crore was available with the Central Government for giving assistance to the State Government .
The letter pointed out that Rs 166.31 crore was already sanctioned from CRF during the current financial year and works were going on .
Out of the sanctioned amount, Rs 36.74 crore was allocated during the current financial year .
After subtracting the allocated amount of Rs 36.74 crore and the amount of Rs 166.31 crore already sanctioned, the amount available for assistance to the State Government from CRF as per the bank of sanction ratio and ceiling is just Rs 26 crore, said the letter.
It further advised the State Government to furnish a list of works compatible with the available amount of Rs 26 crore for implementation on priority basis, conveyed the source .
With only Rs 26 crore available from CRF, repairing or construction of roads is unlikely during the current financial year.
Source: The Sangai Express