R'than govt demands probe into highway construction work

The Rajasthan government has demanded a fair probe against the previous UPA government over for the delay and alleged substandard material used in construction of  National Highway 8



The government swung into action after massive traffic jams following cracks in the newly constructed bridge on Jaipur-Gurgaon NH-8 near Kotputli.  The bridge is part of expansion work of NH-8 which was to be completed in 2011. 

A letter has been written to Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highway, to take up issues related to NH-8 and initiate inquiry against the UPA government and construction company.

Letter to Gadkari 

“We have written the letter to Union Minster Nitin Gadkari to settle the issues related NH-8 and initiate inquiry against UPA government and related ministers and officials. The minister has called a joint meeting of state government and officials of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI),” said Yunus Khan, Public Works Department Minister.

“Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje may also attend the meeting. Our government cannot afford to risk people’s life. We have asked Principal Secretary, Public Works Department (PWD) to interact with NHAI officials, the Minister said. 

Yunus Khan alleged that the irregularities in the work have resulted in delay of completion of expansion of NH-8. It has also escalated the total construction cost by Rs 350 crore. 

On Sunday, the traffic on one of the flyovers on NH-8 was stopped for few hours after major cracks were spotted on the flyover. The repair work has been taken up and it may take eight to ten days to restore normal traffic flow. 

“The construction company Pink City Expressway Private Limited has started the repair work. It will be completed in three to four days,” said Subhash Janu, National Highway Authority of India Project Director.

NHAI Project Director  has  not denied the possibilities of use of substandard material in construction of overbridge. A special team of NHAI has been sent to the spot to find out the reason for the cracks and submit a detail report. 

The flyover is constructed under build-operate-transfer (BOT) mode so it is the responsibility of the constructing company to repair, officials said. 

The work related to broadening of Jaipur- Gurgaon Highway to six lanes started in 2009 with a total cost of Rs 1,896 crore. 

The project was to be completed in 2011. The state government was to acquire 228.52 hectare of land in Rajasthan for the project. So far only 135.14 hectare of land has been acquired.

Delay hits project 

Opposition from people, delay in shifting structures, temples and other religious places has been the main reason for the delay in acquiring remaining land. 

Government sources said only 75 per cent work has been completed even after the delay. Construction company has been issued intent to termination notice that will end on August 24.

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