‘No compromise on quality of roads’
■ Concerned over pothole deaths, Gadkari warns road contractors of dire consequences
UNDERSCORING the need for a no-compromise approach on quality of roads, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has threatened to run a bulldozer over contractors for bad conditions.
The comments, made at the launch of a book ‘India Inspires: Redefining the Politics of Deliverance’ on Thursday evening, came hours after the Supreme Court expressed concerns on road quality and termed the 14,000 plus deaths on account of potholes as “unacceptable”, as the number was higher than lives lost in terror attacks. “I told many big contractors that if the quality of roads you build is bad, I will put them under a bulldozer,” the Minister said. Gadkari said road works of over Rs 10 trillion have been awarded by his ministry over the last four-and-a-half years. Seeking to address any concerns on transparency, he said none of the contractors is forced to come to Delhi for contracts these days.
The Minister said the rate of road construction was at 2 km a day when the Government took over,butisnowitis28kmaday and added that the target is to build 40 km per day of roads by March 2019.
Gadkari, who is credited for the country’s first expressway, said 12 new expressways are under construction across the country.
A bench headed by justice Madan B Lokur on Thursday said the large number of deaths caused due to potholes across the country was “probably more than those killed on border or by the terrorists”.