Representational picture
Representational picture

BHOPAL: The Indore-Bhopal Expressway is going to cost Rs 6,000 crore but will save only 15 minutes of travel time. It would be a fruitless investment, said former PWD minister Sajjan Singh Verma in the Assembly on Tuesday.

The Congress MLAs raised the issue that the present government is cancelling the road construction plans, or putting hurdles in the way of the proposal passed by the Kamal Nath-led government.

BSP MLA Rambai also joined the chorus and asked the minister, “If you want to hurt me you can, but don’t hurt the people of my constituency by pulling back the sanctioned construction of roads.” He said that the present Indore-Bhopal road was already a four-lane road and, to make it a six-lane road, the department would need only Rs 300 crore, because Rs 500 crore was lying with the department for land acquisition. He also raised the issue that some of the officers and politicians had purchased land near the proposed expressway and wanted to earn money from the project.

MLA Neelanshu Chaturvedi asked, “Not even a single road for the city of Ram, Chitrakoot... why?” BJP MLA from Jabalpur Vinay Saxena raised the issue of the Damoh Naka and Madan Mahal Bridge. It is stated that the design and the site of the bridge are being changed regularly. Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari had laid the foundation stone of the proposed Rs 750-crore bridge. MLA Brijendra Singh Rathore stated that not even a single road had been given to Niwari district.

Alternative road

Because of the Sidhi bus accident, an alternative to the perennially congested Chuhiya Ghat road would be constructed at a cost of Rs 156 crore, informed PWD minister Gopal Bhargava in the Assembly. The minister replied that the department was taking care of the black spots. In the state, there are 372 such spots; 154 spots had been rectified for the long term and 52 for the short term. The rest will be rectified shortly.

The contracts for four national highway constructions had been terminated for violating the contract norms. He added that at 90 toll tax spots, the Fastag facility had been started. One of the companies used to claim that they were earning Rs 2.5 lakh per day, but, when the department investigated, they found that the company was earning Rs 12 lakh per day.

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