Contracts to Central agencies for road to be reviewed: Minister

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Patna, Jan 18 (UNI) Irked over the tardy progress on construction and maintenance of roads, the Bihar government today threatened to review its decision on contracts awarded to central agencies for construction and maintenance of 2035-km-long state highways if the pace of works did not show any sign of improvement by March this year.

The performance of cenral agencies in construction and maintenance of roads was far from satisfactory as works in several parts of the state had not started even after more than ten months of awarding the contracts to them.

State Road Construction Minister Nand Kishore Yadav told reporters here that in April 2005, an agreement was signed by the Bihar government, Central government and the Planning Commission for construction and maintenanace of 2035-km-long state highways in the state.

He said the required fund was to be provided by the Planning Commission under Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojna, which was due to the state government after a separate Jharkhand state was carved out from Bihar in 2000.

The previous NDA government at the Centre had decided to release Rs 1000 crores to Bihar per year under Rastriya Sam Vikas Yojna and it was accrued to Rs 6000 crore by April 2005, he added.

As per the agreement, IRCON and CPWD--the two Central government agencies were given the responsibility to carry out the construction and maintenace of state highways but their works were far from satisfactory.

The IRCON was given the contracts for construction and maintenanace of state highways in five districts of Bihar, while CPWD was given to complete the assignment in rest of the state, he added.

'' During the review meeting, the officers of the CPWD and IRCON have assured to acclerate the pace of works, '' Mr Yadav said adding the state government would again review the progress in this regard in April and if it was not found satisfactory, second thought on continuation of contracts to them, could be given.

UNI KKS SJC/src1922

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