Chouhan meets Manmohan Singh
Agencies, New Delhi The Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan today met the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and strongly urged him to resolve the issues related to National Highways, which are plaguing Madhya Pradesh for a very long time.
Shri Chouhan sought Rs. 200 crore spent by the State on repairing and maintenance of national highways. He also sought clearance pending bills worth Rs. 250 crore and said that only Rs. 57 crore will be required for repairing stretches of national highway No. -3 and 7. He handed over to the Prime Minster a detailed letter seeking early disposal of issues. The Prime Minister assured the Chief Minister that he will talk to the concefs He described it as an unprecedented step taken by any State Government without any recompense yet from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Citing media reports indicating that some concessionaires have withdrawn from the projects thereby delaying the implementation indefinitely, Shri Chouhan said that these roads are in extremely poor condition and have no longer remained motorable due to continuous neglect of regular maintenance of these stretches.
He said that it is extremely urgent that these highways are taken up for maintenance immediately otherwise, the movement of traffic within the state is getting seriously hampered. The Chief Minister said that the claims presented to the Ministry for land acquisition, release of viability gap funding, release of funds for utility shifting and for other pre-project activities are pending for a long time without any reason. These claims presently amount to approximately Rs. 250 crore. This undue delay is causing uncertainty in the minds of concessionaires and is delaying the implementation of the projects, he added. The Chief Minister said that the first category of National Highways entrusted to the State Government for up-gradation and redevelopment through MP State Road Development Corporation.
These projects are being implemented by the State Agency under PPP mode by virtue of a MOU signed with MORTH. He said that the MOU clearly demarcates the role and responsibility of the MORTH and the State Government. Pointing out slow action on the part of MORTH, Shri Chouhan said that while the State Government is fulfilling its responsibilities in the right earnest, there is a severe lack of response in fulfilling the responsibilities assigned to the MORTH. The Chief Minister said the in the second category of National Highways, projects have been assigned for reconstruction and development to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) by the Ministry.
The prominent amongst them is NH-3 (Agra-Mumbai National Highway), NH-7 and NH-69, which are passing through the state. They form the most important highways links of the state. The projects have been undertaken on the PPP mode but NHAI has failed to get the work started on the ground, he added.