‘No com­pro­mise on qual­ity of roads’

■ Con­cerned over pothole deaths, Gad­kari warns road con­trac­tors of dire con­se­quences

The Hitavada - - NATION -

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”.

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