HP Government vows to finish contractor mafia

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Shimla, Mar 26 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Gulab Singh Thakur today said the ''contractor mafia'' active in the state would not be allowed to flourish and the state government would take effective steps to finish it.

Replying to a cut motion in the assembly moved by the Congress members on road development, he expressed concern over the contractor mafia being active within the contractor group, which was working under the ''pool system''.

Mr Thakur said in a bid to ensure transparency in the working of the department, the government had decided to discontinue the practice of accepting single tender.

However, in exceptional cases where there be no other alternative, the single tender would be accepted, he added.

He said it would be ensured that the work allotted for construction of roads should be completed within the stipulated time while maintaining high standards of quality.

''The BJP Government has accorded priority towards development of roads in its manifesto and by the end of March 2012 all the villages in the state with a population of 250 would be connected with roads, besides villages with a population of 500 would be connected by roads by March 2009,'' he said.

The PWD Minister said the government had set a target of receiving Rs 350 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna in the ensuing financial year besides, Rs 175 crore under the NABARD project.

The process of preparing detailed project reports (DPR's) for obtaining funds under these schemes was under way, he said and added that and these would soon be submitted to the Centre He said the government would undertake surveys across the state to find out the feasibility of constructing tunnels.

Mr Thakur said Himachal Government would also stress upon allotting two national highways for the state, the proposal of which was lying with the Centre for the last five years.

The previous Congress Government had failed to get these projects sanctioned for the state, he said.

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