Members raise demands about new, pending roads, seek return of CRIF to road ministry
Participating in the discussion on demands for grants of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry for 2019-20, several members also expressed concern over a large number of road accidents and sought adequate emergency services to help victims.
Many members sought construction of bypasses, underpasses and overbridges.
BJP’s Sanjay Jaiswal demanded that Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (CRIF) should be returned to the Road Transport and Highways Ministry. “This is the demand of most members,” he said.
Ganesh Singh of BJP also referred to CRIF and said the selection of roads be under the control of the MPs of the respective states.
Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways VK Singh told the members that CRIF is under the control of the Finance Ministry and hence allocation has to be discussed with them.
About the role of MPs in selecting the roads, Singh said MPs will have to discuss it with their respective state governments.
An official order issued last year said that work related to CRIF had been taken away from the Road Transport and Highways ministry and brought under Finance Ministry.
Participating in the discussion, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy said the budget was weak on safety and weak on fund collection.
“The Minster has spoken about Rs 14,000 crores for ensuring safety. I do not know how he says this, where will the money come from? He is only going to the market to borrow money. Money is not coming, where is that 14,000 crore? Where is it going to come from? He has spoken about electric vehicles. How long would it take to make 50 per cent electric vehicles even though you have given some concessions in the budget,” he asked.
He said the minister has also spoken about nitrogen-filled tyres.
“How long will it take to fill up the tyres with nitrogen? While road construction grows apace, the safety considerations are neglected. Eighty per cent of passenger traffic is carried by roads. If we have to give relief, construction must proceed apace,” he said.
Roy said know Yamuna Expressway was now called the killer expressway because 700 people have died in 5000 accidents in the last seven years.” So far the Central Government has not been able to take effective steps,” he said.
He said while highways were being built people were dying in large numbers in traffic accidents.
BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said road accidents had claimed lives of several sitting and former members of the house including Gopinath Munde, Rajesh Pilot and Yerran Naidu and Sahib Singh Verma. He said former President Zail Singh had also died in a road accident.
Rudy said that politicians were 90 per cent of their time on roads as their work entails a lot of traveling.
He also expressed concern over the delay in road projects and cited an instance of misuse of power to arbitrarily change the alignment of roads by RJD leader.
TDP’s Srinivas Kesineni raised the issue of congestion in Vijayawada due to two National Highways that pass through the city. He sought construction of a bypass to divert highway traffic in the city:
K. Muraleedharan of Congress said about 4000 accidents take place in Kerala and less compensation was paid in such cases.
Chandreshwar Prasad of JD-U said that there is a need for emergency services for accident victims on highways.
BJP’s Dushyant Singh said that good network of roads leads to progress and BJP-led government has paid attention to it.(ANI)