After retired Army jawans, NDA govt to rope in retired engineers

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Patna, May 21 (UNI) Enthused with successful recruitment of retired army jawans in Special Auxiliary Police(SAP) to improve law and order situation in Bihar, Nitish Kumar government is now focused on hiring retired engineers to complete the gigantic task of 20,000-km road construction in rural Bihar by 2009.

Principal Ssecretary of Rural Works Department Hemchand Sirohi said here today that state government would encourage retired engineers to form cooperative construction societies to take up the construction of rural roads and complete it within time frame.

''Socities formed by the engineers would not be required to deposit any security money and we would even approach the banks to provide loans to them against the work order allotted by the state government,'' Mr Sirohi said, adding that as a precautionary measure the state government would, however, ask them to deposit their engineering degrees with the department.

Delving into the reasons behind floating such ideas, Mr Sirohi said the state was facing crisis of contractors even as there were road projects worth over Rs 10,000 crores for implementation, especially under Pradhan Mantri Gram Rojgar Yojna(PMGSY) and Mukhya Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna(MMGSY).

''An average estimate indicates the requirement of 4,000 contractors to complete the pending road projects, if each contractor gets 20 Kms of work order.Under the PMGSY, construction cost of one Km of road is worked out to be around Rs 50 lakhs, which means a 20 Km road stretch would cost somewhere around Rs 10 crores,'' sources said, adding that big gap on this front in the sector was the effect of lack of emphasis on construction of roads during the past few years.

'' Number of contractors, equipped with machines and adequate financial strength, has depleted over the years and when there is a focus on roads, the crisis is evident,'' sources said.

UNI KKS-RS LL RN1708

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