Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bihar among top 10 states to spend on road

Ministry of road transport and highways allocates about Rs 1,500 crore annually on upgradation of state highways and roads to national highways.

While states like Goa, Haryana, Karnataka and Rajasthan have spent well over the national average, surprisingly Bihar has also been aggressive in road-building. It is one of the top 10 states, spending nearly 40% of funds, well above the national average, in both repair and highway upgradation.

The national average expenditure on projects under the Central Road Fund (CRF) is also a paltry 31% while expenditure on bridges (under the permanent bridge fee fund) is just about 23%.

Union transport secretary Brahm Dutt said delay in sanctioning funds had caused dissatisfaction amongst states.

However, in a recent review, Dutt has set up a central level task force to monitor the progress made by states.

"We have directed chief engineer-level officials to ...ensure the requisite sanctions are given by October-end," Dutt said.

The ministry itself will allocate 75% of the fund by December-end. "Project feasibility reports will be subject to a quarterly review by senior officials and I will also monitor the progress," Dutt said.

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