New Delhi: The pathetic condition of roads in Uttar Pradesh is known to all but on the Centre’s initiative to grant money to the states for maintenance of roads, the state has shown a sloppy attitude by handing over a short list of rural roads just for the sake of washing its hands off its responsibility.

Out of the 73districts in the state, the government has sent a proposal for maintenance of rural roads in only 29 districts. In spite of a request by the Rural Ministry, the state government did not include the other districts. As a result, the Centre has granted Rs 342 crore for 514 roads as mentioned in the proposal.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh wrote a detailed letter to UP Chief Minister Mayawati asking about the condition and maintenance of village roads in the state to be made under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. While Rs 54.74 crores have been allotted for the maintenance of 41 roads in the Naxal hit Sonbhadra district, only Rs 27.82 crore was asked for 52 roads of Agra, Pratapgarh and Mirzapur.

The irony is that while the Centre is willing to provide funds for the most of the district roads in the light of the upcoming Assembly elections, the state has shown no interest in cashing on the opportunity to woo the voters in its stride.

Reacting on the state’s passive attitude, Jairam Ramesh said, “I do not want to involve myself in politics as I was waiting for the states’ and districts’ proposal for the maintenance of the roads as the Members of parliament were pressurizing for the task.”

Since the roads are in the states domain, the Rural Development ministry approves the proposals sent by the state with no say by the Centre. The states have a core network on whose basis, the rural roads are marked.

While the proposals of other states have already been approved and pending issues cleared in Bihar and Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh seems to be unconcerned for the plight of its people.

(JPN/Bureau)