The construction of roads in Haryana slowed down after chief minister (CM) Manohar Lal Khattar-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government assumed office in October 2014, a right to information (RTI) filed by Gurgaon-based activist Harinder Dhingra has revealed.
As per the information provided by Haryana public works (B&R) department, the Khattar government has constructed only 53-km road in the state in the first two years of its tenure, provided, the 38-km road constructed between 2014-2015 is divided equally among the BJP and the previous Congress government.
A comparison of the same being made by Congress camp with the last two years of former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda reveals a marginal difference in the construction work. As per the RTI, the PWD constructed a total of 269-km road between 2012 to 2014, and 19-km more in Hooda’s share of construction between 2014-2015.
The RTI filed by Dhingra only asked for the data from 2012 to present, without going deeper into the previous eight years when Hooda was in power in Haryana. Dhingra said, “I asked for the data from the year 2012 only because asking for large documents is sometimes denied and the process lingers on.”
When Dhingra was questioned if it is appropriate to compare last two years of a government, when they usually push for developmental projects, with the first two years of the new government, he gave an affirmative response. “The trend shows that in the last years any government tends to focus more on announcements than development. The development works begin in the initial years only,” he said.
However, according to BJP spokesperson Virender Chauhan, comparing the two periods of different governments is irrational. “I doubt the data but I think if we have to compare, we should compare development in similar periods. Secondly, I think we must also consider the maintenance of already constructed road since Haryana is not deficient in this area.”
According to former CM Hooda, development in his tenure had been similar since the beginning. “Current government has failed completely. Earlier, even I refrained from making comments against them. But now enough time has passed to judge them objectively, and their performance is not even zero, but it goes in negative.”