Imphal: Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee Thursday accused the Biren Singh-led BJP government of making ‘self-contradictory’ remarks on the inauguration of Makru bridge last week by Union Road, Transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari and said that the Union Minister’s criticism of the State leadership has been consistently raised by the party for the betterment of the state.
As per the PIB statement, the Union Minister, Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone of 16 National Highways Project worth Rs 4,184 crore for a total length of 298 km of roads. Moreover, projects worth Rs 5,000 crore have been sanctioned for the state. Ironically, the inauguration of Makru bridge by the Union Minister in the state was not mentioned in the PIB Press Release, said Ningombam Bupenda Meitei, MPCC spokesperson here on Thursday.
On the Union Minister claimed that there was no dearth of money in his Ministry for the development of the state, the Congress spokesperson questioned as to why did Gadkari laid the foundation of 16 NH projects at Rs. 2.19 crore less for every kilometre of highways than what his own Ministry awarded years back in the same state if there were no dearth of money in the Ministry in July, 2021.
Bupenda also pointed out that under Bharatmala Phase-I, the Central government had already prepared a sum of Rs 10,000 crore as DPR for highway expansion in the state. Unfortunately, however, the Union Minister simply stated that this highway expansion under Bharatmala Phase-I would be recommended to Bharatmala Phase-II, which is illogical.
“Before the Union Minister talks about recommending projects from the state under Bharatmala Phase-II, it is expected from his Ministry to clarify on the status of Rs. 10,030 crore for 736 km under Bharatmala Phase -I. How many crores of rupees has Manipur received under Bharatmala Phase-I? When will Rs. 10,030 crore be sanctioned for the state under the Bharatmala Phase-I, which is expected to end by 2022? How many crores is the Ministry planning to sanction for Manipur under Bharatmala Phase – II, which is expected to end by 2024?, the Congress spokesperson questioned.
Bupenda also said if the Prime Minister is giving the highest priority to Manipur, he shouldn’t have decreased the fund for highways, which has now a difference of around Rs. 2 crore for every kilometre for highways from that of previous years.
The Congress said that claims of Chief Minister N Biren Singh on completing Barak and Irang bridges have further exposed the impracticability that would seriously compromise the quality of both works and bridges.