New Delhi, July 2: The Congress-led UPA government, which will complete a decade in office next year, admitted before the Supreme Court on Monday that the BJP-led NDA government, which had preceded it, had constructed nearly half of the total length of highways built in the last 32 years, a report said on Tuesday.
The NDA government, led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was in power between 1998-2004.
In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the Centre said that the total length of the national hiways in 1980 was 29,023 kilometres, which increased to 76,818 km by the end of last year. It also revealed that during 1997-2002, the period under the Ninth Five Year Plan, 23,814 km was constructed, which means nearly 50 per cent of the total road constructed in the last three decades, which remains a record since independence.
In comparison, the total length of highways built under the UPA government, which has been in power for four more years than the NDA, is only 16,000 km, the affidavit said. The Congress has ruled the country for over 50 years in its 66 years of independence.
The report also said that nearly 3,000 km of national highways was planned to be built during 2012-17 (12th Five Year Plan) but the government decided to de-notify long parts of the highways to be built in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, two BJP-ruled states.
The affidavit came on a PIL filed to seek directions from the Supreme Court to make the highways safe for travellers, including making emergency medical help available to accident victims.