May stop NHAI work if Sena leaders continue obstruction: Gadkari to CM Thackeray

The Union minister warned Thackeray government that it would stop the road construction if the situation continues. Following this, Maharashtra home department has asked the director general of police (DGP) to inquire into the matter and submit a report immediately.
Union minister for transport and highways Nitin Gadkari has written a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray over the obstruction created by local Shiv Sena leaders and workers in the road construction works undertaken by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in Washim. (HT FILE)
Union minister for transport and highways Nitin Gadkari has written a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray over the obstruction created by local Shiv Sena leaders and workers in the road construction works undertaken by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in Washim. (HT FILE)
Updated on Aug 14, 2021 10:27 PM IST
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By, Mumbai

Union minister for transport and highways Nitin Gadkari has written a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray over the obstruction created by local Shiv Sena leaders and workers in the road construction works undertaken by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in Washim, which has led to a flutter in the state. The Union minister warned Thackeray government that it would consider stopping the road construction if the situation continues. Following this, Maharashtra home department has asked the director general of police (DGP) to inquire into the matter and submit a report immediately.

Gadkari, in his letter dated July 23, cited three examples of obstruction by local Sena leaders who allegedly threatened contractors and vandalised equipment, spreading panic among workers. He has specifically mentioned that the work of the three highways has been obstructed in Washim Lok Sabha constituency by Sena workers. The letter also stated that NHAI is re-considering whether the road construction work should be discontinued amid these disruptions.

Taking a serious note of it, Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray has sought a report from the DGP. Home department has written a letter to the DGP on August 12, asking him to take action in such cases and submit a report immediately.

“NHAI has undertaken road construction projects in a big way in the state. Elected representatives and their followers allegedly have been asking for illegal favours from officers and contractors. The ongoing works may get stopped if action is not taken against such individuals, as mentioned in the letter by Union minister. You are informed to find out whether the contractors have registered any such complaints and any action has been initiated by the police. Kindly submit the report at the earliest,” the letter written by a deputy secretary of home department read.

Food and civil supplies minister Chhagan Bhujbal said, “Generally, we do appreciate the work done by any minister in our constituencies and also put up hoardings to thank them. I am not aware of such complaints, but we will surely look into them.”

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya said he would visit the locations to get more details about the “high-handedness” of local Sena representatives.

Sena MP and chief spokesperson Arvind Sawant said, “The CM ordered a probe immediately after the letter by Gadkari. It is yet to be proved if Sena leaders really have any role in this. The Central government is not talking about the hooliganism of elected representatives in Konkan where contractors and officers engaged in Mumbai-Goa highway construction are threatened and beaten up.”

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