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NK Premachandran objects to absence of House Minister

NK Premachandran objects to absence of House Minister

Opposition leaders in Lok Sabha praised the work of Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday when he took part in the debate on the request for subsidies for the Ministry of Transport, but raised some concerns about the quality of the roads, maintenance and the alleged lack of transparency in toll collection.

Some members, including Arunachal Pradesh BJP member Tapir Gao and Darjeeling representative Raju Bista, have urged the government to speed up construction of border roads in northeastern states, including an alternative highway from Siliguri to Darjeeling .

The Socialist Revolutionary Party’s NK Premachandran objected to Mr Gadkari’s absence during the discussion of grant applications for his ministry. He noted that Mr. Gadkari was doing a good job, but pointed out that parliamentary ethics required that the minister, who was seeking approval from the Lok Sabha to spend ₹1.9 lakh crore in 2022-23, be present.

Quality issues

Opposition members like Danish Ali (BSP), AM Ariff (CPI-M) and Hasnain Masoodi (National Conference) were among those who praised the minister but pointed to quality issues, mismatch between the budget allocated to the ministry and the pace of road construction, dependence on the private sector and lack of transparency regarding toll collection.

Mr. Gao stressed the importance of Arunachal Pradesh border highways which share the border with China. He said the biggest automakers, including Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes and Lamborghini, now compete in car rallies because of the state’s good roads.

Mr. Bista urged the Center to speed up the construction of a bridge to replace the 100-year-old Coronation Bridge, which is an important link between North Bengal and the Northeast.

chicken neck

The Coronation Bridge is located in the narrow 22 km corridor known as Chicken’s Neck, which includes Bangladesh on one side and Nepal on the other, which makes it strategically very important.

“There is a need to speed up road construction in the border region,” Bista said, noting that the region of northern Bengal and Sikkim was crucial as it shared borders with China, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Congressman Vishnu Prasad observed that previous UPA governments had laid the groundwork for the development of road connectivity in the country, resulting in its road network becoming the second largest in the world.

“Treasury Banks are very proud of the 63.5 lakh km of road coverage, which is the second longest in the world after the United States. But this expansion did not happen overnight. These are the previous congressional governments under [Jawaharlal] Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi who laid the foundation and that is why today India has the second largest road network,” he said.