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Nagaland

RD Ministry says Nagaland roads ‘unsatisfactory’

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By EMN Updated: Jan 04, 2014 10:43 am
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Maintenance funds not credited too

Al Ngullie
DIMAPUR, JANUARY 3

THE doubt of Nagaland’s public in the quality of the state’s roads may have found corroboration in a statement the Ministry of Rural Development’s issued days ago, that ’50 percent’ to ’80 percent’ of the roads constructed in the state are “unsatisfactory” and far below norms of quality construction. The ministry was referring to roads the state built from the nationwide rural-connectivity program, the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for the year 2012-2013. The ministry observed Nagaland’s “shortcomings” in a report the ministry floated, detailing events till December 31, 2013. A copy of the document was made available to this reporter Wednesday.
There is more: The ministry has observed that Nagaland isn’t that famous about maintaining her roads either. “…the challenge also lies with maintaining the new infrastructure being created. Though there is 5-year maintenance in-built in the programme, the State has been lagging in ensuring the same,” the ministry stated in its report. The ministry observed the physical progress: Out of 305 road works covering 3,629.63 kilometers of roads sanctioned, Nagaland has completed 249 road works covering 2,902.87 kilometers till September, 2013 (reported by the State).
The financial progress: Out of total value of projects amounting to Rs.732.73 crore sanctioned, an amount of Rs.554.81 crore has been released. An amount of Rs.511.56 crore has been utilized by the state till September, 2013 (reported by the State).

Unsatisfactory’ Quality of Roads
According to the ministry’s document, out of 31 inspections undertaken by State Quality Monitors on completed roads during November 2010-September 2013, the “quality of works has been found unsatisfactory in 12 works (38.71%)”. Similarly, it stated, “out of 46 inspections of ongoing road works during this period, in 23 works (50%), quality of works has been found unsatisfactory”.
Also, “under 3rd tier” inspections, out of 5 inspections undertaken by the National Quality Monitors during November 2010- September 2013 on completed road works, the “quality of works has been found unsatisfactory in 4 works (80%). Out of 5 inspections of ongoing road works during this period, in 3 works (60%) quality of works has been found unsatisfactory,” the central ministry stated.
“SRRDA should take corrective action and ensure that quality of the roads constructed under the programme is of high standards as envisaged under the programme,” the report remarked.

Maintenance funds not credited
The ministry also observed that the state did not set aside funds meant for maintenance of assets created under the scheme: “Under PMGSY, State is required to earmark separate fund for maintenance of assets created under the Scheme. It has been observed that the State has not credited due maintenance fund during the year 2012-13,” the report said.
The details show that for 2013-2014 (up to June of year 2013), there is “no information from the state government” concerning funds to be set aside for the State Rural Roads Development Agency. The agency is understood to be tasked entrusted with the maintenance funds.
During 2011-2012, however, Rs. 3.85 crore was credited to the agency while Rs. 2.59 crore was credited for 2012-2013.
Interestingly, the Rural Development ministry observed that Nagaland still has the capacity to taking up additional works worth Rs.247.00 crore during the year 2013-2014.

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By EMN Updated: Jan 04, 2014 10:43:11 am