New Delhi: The Centre’s plan to lay roads in Naxal-affected states seems to be a forgotten promise as Bihar is the only state where road construction in Naxal-affected areas is taking some shape.

The government has established a goal of laying down an extensive road network of 1,125 km of national highways and 4352 km of state highways in eight Naxal affected states at a cost of Rs 2300 crore. However, only 20 percent of the national highways have been built so far in two years.

Under the project, 1,820 km of road is to be built in Chhattisgarh, 616 km in Bihar, 620 km in Andhra Pradesh, 614 km in Odisha, 490 km in Jharkhand and 67 km in Uttar Pradesh.

While 800 km of national highways were to be developed in the current financial year, only about 250 km of roads have been prepared.

The biggest reason for the slow progress of the work is the levy charged by the Maoists in the states due to which large companies associated with road construction are not willing to work in these areas.

The condition is worse in Jharkhand as in spite of completion of the tender process for 359 km of roads, not even a single kilometre of road has been built in the region.

Similarly, the tender process for 540 km of roads has been completed in Odisha and the government has already spent Rs 103 crore for the purpose but in vain.

However, the situation is marginally better in Bihar and Maharashtra as 50 km of roads have been built at a cost of Rs 125 crore while bidding is yet to be completed for another 43 km of roads in Bihar. The improvement in law and order situation and ‘Aapke Dwar’ programme launched by Nitish Kumar government in Bihar has sped up road construction in the state.
 
(JPN/Bureau)