Conceding the slow pace of work on the Theog-Hatkoti road, chief parliamentary secretary Rohit Thakur said the government was committed to its time bound completion and maintenance.
Addressing a press conference, Thakur said construction work had been allotted to the C and C Company and delay in permission was owing to the election code. "Work on the Theog-Hatkoti road is progressing on a slow pace and government has served a notice to the company for the delay," he said adding the government was committed to complete the work in a fixed time.
Hitting out at his political opponent and former horticulture minister, Narendra Bragata, Thakur said he (Bragata) had no moral and ethical right to protest over the issue as he did nothing for it during his own tenure. "Bragata even misguided the then chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and was busy celebrating his birthday," he said, adding, "Only 18% progress was made during the BJP regime on the Theog-Hatkoti road."
Thakur also slammed the previous government for digging out the entire length of the road, right from Theog to Hatkoti, which caused problems during monsoon and apple season, particularly in 2010.
"Instead of digging patch wise, the BJP government dug the entire road and the condition worsened during rainy season," he said.
He said during the BJP regime, nearly 150 people were killed in road accidents. "Nearly 10 lakh bags of apple procured under the market intervention scheme rotted on the road in 2010 while the overall loss to the apple economy was approximately over `700 crore," Thakur said.
He claimed that in 2013, the Congress government had redirected the maintence of the Theog-Hatkoti road because of which there was no problem despite a bumper apple crop. "There were over 3.5 crore apple boxes and majority of them were from Jubbal and Kotkhai belt, but due to the government's proactive stand, not even a single apple spoilt on the road," he added.
Further, Thakur also hailed the approval to a Rs 1000 crore project for the state's horticulture. Attributing it to the efforts of the Congress government and commerce minister Anand Sharma in particular, he said the project would bring revolution in the state horticulture.