Cutting across party lines, Lok Sabha members today questioned the quality of rural roads being constructed under a central scheme, saying despite orders from the Centre they were not being consulted in selection of new projects.
A question during the Question Hour on the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) this morning virtually turned into a full debate with several members venting their ire on the failure of district administrations in taking them along while deciding on new projects under the scheme.
Members from BJP, its ally Akali Dal, Congress, Left parties and AAP were seen raising the issue vociferously from their respective seats. They included Harish Meena (BJP), P S Chandumajra (SAD), Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Cong), Dharamvir Gandhi (AAP) and Badaruddoza Khan (CPI-M).
This prompted Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to say that there was a need to check the “gaps”. She said while orders from the Centre are clear, often the meetings of vigilance committes headed by MPs are not held.
She said such meetings should ideally take place every three months and MPs should use it as a “weapon” to get things done and ensure promptness and quality.
Responding to a volley of questions on the role of MPs and the qualiy of construction, Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar assured that the Centre will ensure that the orders are followed.
Mahajan said as a member of the House she understands the problems being faced by MPs and suggested a discussion on the matter.
In his written response, Tomar said national quality monitors inspect sites when complaints are received.
When the monitors grade a road as ‘satisfactory requiring improvement’ or ‘unsatisfactory’, the state government is directed to ensure that the contractor replaces the material or rectifies the workmanship within a reasonable time period.