The Centre has expressed concern over delay in implementation of road projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) as well as the quality of the construction work.
This has been conveyed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik by the Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh through a letter. The Union Minister has raised these issues while informing the Chief Minister about new projects cleared by the Centre under the PMGSY.
“While the clearance letter has been issued, I must bring to your personal attention certain issues which are of concern in implementation of PMGSY in Odisha,” Ramesh stated in the letter.
Stating that 2,048 road projects going on for more than two years are yet to be completed, the Union Minister said the State Government has not raised the number of programme implementation units (PIUs) to 70 before issuing tenders. Quality is a major problem with nine per cent of completed roads while 25 per cent of ongoing works have been judged unsatisfactory, Ramesh said and added that the State Government is yet to set up institutional quality monitors.
Stating that the official recommendation was to hold back the clearance till some of these issues were sorted out, Ramesh said he has decided to go ahead with the clearance on the understanding that simultaneously the State Government will take action to sort out these issues quickly. Ramesh said 343 road works and 140 bridges of 1,184 kms and 11 kms respectively at an estimated cost of Rs 1068 crore have been cleared. The Centre’s share in the cost of the project is Rs 845 crore and contribution of the State is Rs 223 crore, he added.