As polls loom in state, Centre sends senior officials to Gujarat to rapidly fix NH complaints | India News


NEW DELHI: In an unusual move, the highway ministry and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have stationed senior officials in poll bound Gujarat to fix the problems on national highways (NHs) quickly. The officers have been tasked to finish the task in two months, TOI has learnt.
There had been several complaints from political leaders about poor maintenance of some of the NH stretches. Sources said 4-5 officers have been deployed in the state, including a couple of them on temporary deputation, to oversee the repair and maintenance work. They added the works are being undertaken on war footing and there has been good progress so far. It’s leant that the Centre is keen to get the works completed much before the poll dates are announced and to ensure that this doesn’t become a poll issue.
On Friday, even NHAI chairperson Alka Upadhyaya and senior officers inspected some portions of the NH stretches in the state. Union road transport highways minister, Nitin Gadkari had also recently directed officials to take quick corrective measures after this was brought to his notice.
Earlier, taking note of complaints about deficient work and maintenance, the road transport ministry had directed the NHAI not to release payments to a contractor for an NH in the state until an audit team appointed by the Centre submitted its report on the quality of works and the contractor took corrective measures.
It had set up the audit team comprising the PWD secretary of Gujarat, two professors from IITs and representatives of two district collectors to carry out investigation of the ongoing six-laning of Shamlaji to Mota-Chiloda section of NH-8. The 93-km NH stretch passes through three districts of Ahmedabad, Sabarkantha and Aravalli.


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