The Mayawati Government has ordered inquiry into Rs 135 crore Lohia Path project from Kalidas Marg to Faizabad Road in Lucknow. Principal Secretary Ravinder Singh said a committee has been constituted to investigate into the project. It was a pet project of the previous Mulayam Singh Yadav government.
The government has asked a four-member committee headed by divisional commissioner Lucknow VS Pandey to probe into all aspects of the project. Lohia Path caters to traffic coming from Bareilly-Barabanki-Sitapur on one side and Kanpur-Allahabad, Sultanpur-Varanasi from the other side. The six-lane road provided separate two-meter wide cycle track and 1.5-meter wide footpath on both sides.
“The committee would investigate usefulness of railings along the road, cycle track, technical design, railway over bridges and other related matter”, Singh told Hindustan Times on Sunday. The cost of six-lane road and cycle track was Rs 26 crore and Rs 49 crore respectively, Singh said.
The PWD Minister Nasimuddin Siddique said the construction of cycle track on Lohia Path with huge expenditure has gone waste because people are not using it.
The previous Yadav government had constructed it at the fag end of its tenure. Yadav had inaugurated the project before the announcement of assembly election on February 21, 2007.
Sources in the committee said the government has directed to probe into the role of contractors, acquisition of land for the widening of road, digging of soil from river Gomti for the project and the importance of the project. “There was deliberate cost escalation in the project to benefit some people”, sources said.
“The cost of iron for the railing along the road was Rs 48 per kg”, sources said. “It was just double the market rate”, sources said. The PWD department had deployed guards to protect railings from thieves, who have now been withdrawn.
The then PWD Minister Shiv Pal Singh Yadav, younger brother of Mulayam Singh had taken keen interest in its quick completion. Yadav’s another ambitious project- Lohia Park-is on this road. Shivpal Yadav was not available for comments.
The members of the committee are PWD chief engineer (World Bank), RK Garg, chief technical examiner BK Gupta and one representative of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, Singh said. The Deputy director IIT Prof Kripa Shankar said “the institution would nominate member after receipt of the government letter”.