New Delhi (Agencies): Concerned over execution of barely 118 km of road projects in a year's span in left wing extremism-hit eight states, a parliamentary panel on Friday felt the need for extending high security cover to contractors executing projects under "high risk" zone in the country.

"The parliamentary consultative committee on roads, which met today, headed by Transport Minister C P Joshi advocated higher security for contractors working in high risk zones --especially in 1,457 km stretches out of 5,477 km projects
approved in extremism affected states," a Road Ministry official said.

The committee found that there was poor response from contractors specially in districts of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra amid enhanced security concerns, the official said.

Of the total roads in high risk zone the maximum 1,158 km fell in Chhattisgarh.

In February 2009, the Cabinet had approved Rs 7,300 crore projects for upgradation of 5,477 km of road network in 34 districts of eight left wing extremism affected states, including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.

The committee said that besides high risk zones the developers needed some protection for carrying out work in 2,261 km of roads more while agencies could execute work in the remaining 1,759 km without much security back-up.

Of the total 5,477 km length for upgradation, 1,126 km fall under National Highways category with the rest under state roads. The committee, the official said, fixed a deadline for award of total road projects by June 2011.

As per the Cabinet approval the projects are to be completed by March 2013.

The Members of Parliament who attended the meeting included Sardar Sukhdev Singh Libra, Kaushalendra Kumar, Bijoya Chakravarty, Govind Prasad Mishra, R Sambasiva Rao and Shri K B Shanappa.