Slamming the Centre for poor maintenance of national highways in the state, Bihar Road Construction Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh today demanded refund of Rs 970 crore spent on their upkeep between 2005-06 to 2009-10.
Claiming that the maintenance of 4321 km of national highways in the state was the responsibility of the Centre, Singh said that the National Highway Authority of India transferred 1762 km stretch to the state for upkeep.
Either the union surface transport ministry should fulfil its duties or refund Rs 970 crore that the state government had spent on between 2005-06 and 2009-10, the minister said.
Referring to the poor condition of roads under state jurisdiction, he said that a new maintenance policy was framed under which the agency constructing roads would also be responsible for maintenance for a given period.
Dwelling on the road project on the Indo-Nepal border stretching over 553 km from West Champaran to Kishanganj being constructed at a cost of Rs. 1702 crore he said after completion it would boost connectivity in border districts.
He rued the bad shape of the Gandhi Setu on the river Ganga between Patna and Hajipur, Rajendra Bridge in Begusarai and Veer Kunwar Singh bridge in Bhojpur that restricted movement of heavy vehicles carrying supplies from South to North Bihar.
He said that the Centre had not done anything for repair and maintenance of these bridges over past several years.
The Road Construction Department’s demand for Rs. 4898 crore for current fiscal was approved by the house by voice vote after BJP MLAs led by the Leader of Opposition Nand Kishore Yadav walked out expressing dissatisfaction with the minister’s reply.