Road laying works : PR team racing against time

Road laying works : PR team racing against time
Highlights

Though the State government sanctioned Rs 1,225 crore funds for laying new roads, the Panchayat Raj Engineering Department has utilised Rs 245 crore only in the present fiscal

Visakhapatnam: Though the State government sanctioned Rs 1,225 crore funds for laying new roads, the Panchayat Raj Engineering Department has utilised Rs 245 crore only in the present fiscal.

In order to connect each village with mandal headquarters, the State government sanctioned these funds to Visakhapatnam. Eleven agency mandals, majority of panchayats and tribal hamlets are not having proper road connectivity with district headquarters.

However, ever after completion of 11 months in the present fiscal, the department had not utilised Rs 980 crore funds. During a series of review meetings, the officials informed to government that no contractor is coming forward to take up the works in agency and interior rural areas.

The officials cited geological disadvantages, Maoist threat, lack of sand and mismatching of investment against the government price are main reasons for non-execution of road works in the district.

A senior official of Panchayat Raj department on condition of anonymity said that earlier, the government directed the department to take up the help from Armed Forces and police for construction of works in agency and interior areas.

Even that no contractor is coming forward to take up the works in rural and agency areas, he stated.

He also pointed out there were several land disputes with forest department to lay the roads. “Even we are writing many letters to forest department, there is no response from Union Forest department,” he stated.

Expressing his unhappiness over the issue at a recently held review meeting, Collector K Bhaskar directed the engineers to take the responsibility and construct the roads under their direct supervision, if the contractors are not coming to take up the works.

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