The Bihar government on Friday held the Centre squarely responsible for poor condition of the National Highway (NH) roads stretching to 2,560 kms in the state.
"The NH roads having a length of 2,560 kms in Bihar are in shambles to make travel a bumpy exercise for which the Central agency - NHAI must take the blame as it has made no endeavour to maintain roads under its jurisdiction for past many years," Road Construction Department (RCD) Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh said while replying to discussion on his department's budgetary demand of Rs. 5,795 crore for 2015-16.
In an indication of its apathy towards maintenance and repair of NH roads in Bihar, the NHAI has given a meagre Rs. 68 crore to the state government, he said.
Expressing helplessness to undertake repair of NH roads in Bihar, Singh said that the state government was aware of miseries of road users, but can not do maintenance works as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) will raise objections to use of state funds under this head.
Unlike the NH roads lying in bad shape in Bihar, the RCD has put in place Output & Performance Based Road Assets Maintenance Contract (OPRMC) to put in place repair and maintenance of roads in real time on the basis of complaint of road users and provisioned stringent action against contractors and RCD engineers in the event of their failure to do so.
Under the OPRMC, a toll free helpline number 1800 345 6161 has been made available to which any citizen can call to intimate about damaged roads anywhere in Bihar and a flying squad of engineers will reach there to repair the damage in real time, the RCD Minister said, adding, strict action will be taken against anybody found guilty of dereliction of duty.
The RCD's budgetary demand of Rs. 5,795 crore for 2015-16 was passed by the house by voice vote amid boycott by the BJP members.