Under attack from members, Surface Transport Minister Kamal Nath today sought to blame the excess rains this year for bad condition of roads in some parts of the country.
"It is true that the condition of highways is not good in some parts. This year we had excess rains," Nath said replying to supplementaries during Question Hour.
He said his ministry had written to the Finance Ministry for increased allocation for maintenance and repair of highways. "We hope that the Finance Minister will agree to our proposal," Nath said, also stating that the work would begin later this week.
Nath also faced some tough questions from members on the target set by his ministry to build 20 km road per day. BJP member Yashwant Sinha sought to know from Nath whether the processes of due diligence was done before setting the stiff target.
Nath asserted that he never said the ministry would achieve the target immediately. "It is impossible to build 20 km of road per day in the current circumstances," he said.
He also said that to achieve the target, the ministry needed to build 7,000 km roads every year. "Right now, projects for laying 14,704 kms of road was under implementation and this year we hope to add between 8,000-10,000 km," he said. "We will be able to move towards achieving the 20 km per day target after one year," Nath said.
He said the target achieved on an average from June 2009 to September 2010 was 12.01 km per day.