After a probe into the alleged irregularities in the widening of the Kumar Hatti-Nahan road project, the quality and design wing of the Public Works Department (PWD) has reportedly given it a clean cheat.
During his visit to Sarhan on September 17, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh had ordered PWD superintendent of engineer (SE) to conduct a probe into the 75-kilometre-long World Bank-aided project, which is expected to come up at the cost of Rs 142 crore.
Sources placed with the PWD said following the CM's order a team headed by the SE (quality and design) inspected the road and collected samples of the materials used.
However, when the reports of the samples were found satisfactory, said sources, the probing team gave their clearance to the project.
The probe report further stated that the work was carried out as per the parameters set by the detailed project report (DPR).
When asked, PWD SE (quality and design) BB Bhardwaj confirmed that the quality of the construction was found satisfactory, adding that the collected samples also passed the lab test.
He further said the construction of the road was in progress according to the DPR.
However, RIDC official Naresh Sharma said it was just rumour that the work was not being done properly and the norms were violated.
Arguably, the project entails an environmental cost - as many as 11,606 trees were laid down for the widening of the road.
In all, 33 months have been granted to Delhi-based Som Dutt Builders to finish the project, which was over in July 2012. The Road Infrastructure Development Corporation (RIDC), the executive agency of the project, has fixed a fresh deadline of March31st, 2014 for the completion of the project.
The issue of the shortcomings in the widening of the road was also raised in the Himachal Assembly a few months back. Now the road has been declared fit for plying the traffic within the speed limit of 40-45 km per hour.
The villagers had also raised their objection to narrow turns of the road.