Gangtok, Dec 18 (UNI) Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has critised the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for the second time this year for ineffective manpower and machinery.
Official sources here today said that Mr Chamling gave the statement while addressing at the 55th North East Council meeting in New Delhi yesterday.
NH 31, the life line of the state, had been blocked for three weeks during August-September earlier this year following innumerable landslides triggered by monsoons.
The Chief Minister also pointed out that the state was facing serious problems due to lack of effective manpower and machinery from BRO as it has its headquarters in Bhutan.
Mr Chamling also drew the attention for seeking support of the NEC and Centre on the necessity of maintaining the road infrastructure.
The road from Sevoke to Gangtok (95 kms), as also the road from Gangtok to Nathu La (56 kms) was included in the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in North Eastern Region.
The completion schedule envisaged was 2008-09. However the works were yet to commence, Mr Chamling reiterated.
National Highway Authority of India had been entrusted for implementing the Sevoke-Gangtok road upgradation while BRO is entrusted for double laning Gangtok-Nathu La road.
''The improvement of road infrastructure is essential not only for the state but also for augmentation of the border trade between Sikkim and Tibet Autonomous Region through Nathu La,'' Mr Chamling said.
He requested the NEC to recommend to the Centre for early implementation of this project.
The Chief Minister also regretted the delay in releasing the earmarked fund by NEC by releasing only a portion of it for the schemes sponsored and cleared by the state government to benefit the people of Sikkim.