Assam: No Political Consideration For Road And Bridge Schemes, Says CM Sarma

GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma made it clear that political considerations would not have any role in sanctioning roads and bridges.

Replying to the debate on the cut motion on the supplementary demands of the PWD, Sarma said, “Roads and bridges are not for any LACs or MLAs. These are for the overall development of the state. Political consideration shouldn’t have anything to do with this.

“This five-year term will witness the construction of many big roads and bridges. Each MLA will get Rs 100-300 crore to construct roads and bridges in their respective constituencies. I appeal to the legislators to plan for new roads and bridges for the next five years and give me the plans. Flyovers will come up at many places, including Guwahati.

“I took up the Rs 5,000-crore Misa-Tezpur tunnel project beneath the Brahmaputra with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, even though it’s an army’s project. I urged the Union Minister to lay importance on that project. China has five roads along the Arunachal border. On the contrary, we have only one road along the China border in the Arunachal sector.

“We have already initiated some of the big road projects, and some projects are in the pipeline. For the 35-km elevated road over the Kaziranga National Park, I met Union Road and Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari for approval. Some of the other road projects in the pipeline are the Rs 4,000-crore Palashbari-Sualkuchi bridge, the Dhubri-Rupsi Road, making the historic Dhodar Al four-lane, 1800-km extra PMGSY roads, Rs 1,800-crore Lumding-Haflong elevated corridor on the National Highway, etc.

“Our thrust is for constructing roads on embankments, straightening roads to shorten the distance, widening important roads etc. We have a plan to construct pucca roads over 1,000 km embankments. This practice strengthens embankments.”

The Chief Minister said that he had formed the government with a development-oriented mindset. “Earlier, constructing a bridge over the Brahmaputra was a big issue. Now it is common. We have a cash crunch this year due to the waiver of the microfinance loans. The RBI yesterday approved the MoUs that we are going to sign for the waiver of microfinance loans.”

The Chief Minister said that a section is out to create instability in the state to frustrate the public.

The Opposition raised three points during the debate of the cut motion — effective monitoring of road construction, not allowing time overruns of projects and finalizing issues like land acquisition, shifting of electric poles, drainage etc., before approving any project.

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