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Blame Centre For Poor NH 34: Mamata's Govt Tells People

2015-10-21 23:20

A board alerting people that responsibility of maintenance of NH34 rests with Central Government Picture by SOVAN CHAUDHURI

Poor condition of NH34 and a board put by State government in Bethuadahari. Picture by SUPRIYO DASGUPTA


Krishnanagar, Oct. 21: The dilapidated condition of the National Highway 34 at different stretches in North 24 Parganas, Nadia and Murshidabad has become a serious concern to the ruling Trinamul Congress before the next year’s assembly poll.

In a bid to avoid embarrassment for its poor condition that has made traffic movement tough at many stretches for which the party led state government has no role, it has undertaken a sort of “awareness” drive for the people so that they do not blame the state government for its lack of care.

Pursuing the instructions from Nabanna, the Trinamul Congress leadership in these three districts have put up boards along the side of NH-34 notifying people that the centre is responsible for maintenance of National highway.

Placed calculatedly beside the stretch where road condition is very bad, the boards written mostly in Bengali state: “Ei Rastati Rakshana Bekshaner Dwaittyo Kendriyo Sarkarer”. However, there was no name of the authority who made such ‘public notification’.

[The National highways are executed and maintained by National Highway Authority of India, which is a autonomous nodal authority under union Ministry of road transport and highways. However, all works done through a coordinated effort of state government and NHAI]

Senior Trinamul Congress and party MLA from Nakashipara Kallol Khan said: “It was a decision of the party’s top leadership to put these boards on the side of the road so that people could witness it and realize that whom they should actually blame for the poor condition of the NH 34. We are concerned as people often misunderstand and blames the state government. At the same time our objective is also to point out the failure of the Narendra Modi government which assured of acchhey din in all respect, but miserable failed”.

Meanwhile, these boards have meanwhile, made the Nadia administrations and the NHAI embarrassed.

Nadia district magistrate Vijay Bharti said: “I have seen such boards. But, I have so far no knowledge who actually put these. I have told the officials to find out people involved behind it. However, it is the responsibility of the NHAI to act against such illegal work and remove it”.

National highway Authority of India-Project Director in Krishnanagar A.K.An NHAI officer said said: “The boards are quite embarrassing to us as it conveys a bad message about the NH authorities. We have requested the Nadia DM to help us by removing these boards as we lack adequate man power. Moreover, the boards have apparently put up with a political motive. So we apprehend trouble in case we try to remove it”.

An NHAI officer said claimed that the hidden content which the persons behind these boards want to communicate is not the reality.

“It is true that execution and maintenance of NH34 is responsibility of the national highway authority of India. However, the state government cannot simply ignore its role. The NH works is actually a coordinated effort of centre and state government. In Nadia and Murshidabad two projects of widening have been taken up. But, even after awarding the work to the agencies we could not handover free land to them due to delay on the part of state government in handing over the acquired land. Even the handover land was found not free of encroachment. Even after paying the compensation, the land was not freed. This created lot of problems. Moreover, at many places trees, electrical poles, water pipes were not removed which delayed the works. So state cannot ignore its responsibility. They delay also raised the construction cost”.

“We have, however, taken up the major repair works where works of widening has not been started. The recent rain delayed the patch works. We are hopeful that the situation would change by the November”, An NHAI officer said said.

In last week, a high level team state PWD and NHAI visited Nadia to examine present status of widening works of NH 34. The officials held meeting with district administration, where the issues those responsible for delay in execution were identified.

An officer of Nadia administration said: “The delay in handing over free land is a major reason”.

Principal Secretary State PWD Indeevar Pandey said: “The condition of NH 34 between Berhampur and Krishnanagar is very bad. We have on repeated occasions requested the centre to ensure good road condition. But nothing has happened. We have told the centre that if they can do nothing, the state government will take the responsibility of construction of NH34”

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