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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 23, 2007
Manmohan Singh finds cancer of corruption in road construction projects(Re-issue with corrections)
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Manmohan Singh finds cancer of corruption in road construction projects(Re-issue with corrections)

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said corruption in road construction projects is spreading like cancer.

New Delhi, May 23 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said corruption in road construction projects is spreading like cancer.

Describing corruption as the chief reason for the poor quality of roads during his inaugural speech at the two-day National Conference on Rural Roads, here, Dr Singh said: "Corruption in road construction projects has spread like cancer to every corner of our vast country."

The Prime Minister, however, added that the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and the flagship programme of the Bharat Nirman could be implemented in a transparent and accountable manner.

Expressing his concern about the apathy over the quality of roads, which get spoilt every monsoon, Dr. Singh said: "I am concerned about the fact that we invest crores of rupees every year on road construction and maintenance, and yet with every monsoon our roads get worn."

He also stressed the need to evolve cost-effective technologies for the construction of rural roads as well as the need to make road construction as labour intensive as possible.

Dr Singh enlisted three priority areas in road development.

First, he said is the need of multi-laned highways connecting the country. "This we are doing through a massive expansion of the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP)," he added.

"Second we need a network of rural roads, linking our villages to towns, to market centres and to our highways," he said.

Thirdly, there is need for good quality border roads and better road connectivity in the North-eastern region of the country.

Talking about poor maintenance of roads, Dr Singh said: "We are losing road assets worth thousands of crores annually due to poor road maintenance."

"We cannot afford to allow this state of affairs to continue any longer," he added.

On this occasion he also released a book 'Rural Roads: Vision 2025'.

Union Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Ministers of State in the Ministry of Rural Development Suryakanta Patil and Chandrasekhar Sahu were also present at the conference.

India has a vast road network of over 3 million kilometres spread across its length and breadth.

Under the NHDP, the country has been investing 2, 200 billion rupees and under Bharat Nirman programme. The investment requirement for connecting 66,000 villages with road has been estimated at 480 billion rupees.

ANI

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