Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari must be having a tough time as his claim has fallen flat.
Gadkari claimed that NDA government is pushing the rate of building road at 14 Km per day while the UPA government only constructed 2 Km per day. But, this isn’t true.
The Narendra Modi-led NDA government also increased budgetary allocation of Rs 42,000 crore for construction of roads. “Last year we awarded about 8,000 km and this year we will award another 10,000 km. If we repeat this for the third consecutive year, we will easily cross 20-25 km per day during 2017-18 and 2018-19,” a ministry official told TOI.
According to data, the construction was highest at 16 km per day during 2012-13 and it was second highest during 2009-10 at 14 km.
Though both Congress and BJP had made tall claims about maximum highway stretches during their rule, experts say that it is all political gimmick.
“Unfortunately, every political party has played politics with highway construction to make tall claims. This is because road construction is the most visible asset which people can see within 2-3 years. They have always preferred comparing apples with oranges,” a former top executive of NHAI told TOI.
Further, experts say that the roads constructed under different regime can’t be compared as parameters varied during their times.
“By the time UPA-1 came, NH length increased, institutional mechanism was in place to execute projects.So, there should be no comparison,” the retired official said.