Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seems to have failed in delivering his first big ticket promise after coming to power — pothole-free roads by June 15 — with about 40 per cent of the work remaining. With the deadline ending on Thursday night, the ground situation, though better, leaves much to be desired. According to government statistics, the task to make the roads “gaddha mukt” has only been completed on 60 per cent of the roads. The work was assigned to nine departments. The maximum repair work was given to the public works department (PWD), which comes under Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. It said it has completed repair work on 66,039 km of the total 85,000 km of roads assigned to it. The State Highways Authority had been given a target of 1,189 km of which 70 per cent work (713 km) is complete.
The National Highways Authority of India had been tasked with repairs of 60 km of roads, of which 81 per cent work (48.85 km) is completed. An official told IANS the Panchayati Raj department has performed abysmally and only accomplished 6.56 per cent of the target till June 15. Of the 3,890 km of roads assigned to it, only 255.12 km has been repaired. Officials said that besides lack of coordination, resource crunch was one of the main reasons for failing to meet the target. Similarly, the Mandi Parishad has faired badly and only 1,811 km of the set target of 10,193 km has been repaired. However, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the results are good. Of the 1,703 km, some 1,624.91 km has been repaired, an official further said.
The sugarcane department asked to work on 3,716 km roads has only met 12.31 per cent of the target (457 km). The municipal corporations and other urban bodies had been assigned to repair 6,455 km roads but have managed work on only 1,071.09 km. A senior Minister in the state government conceded that work has been “far from satisfactory” and said he was hopeful the Chief Minister would not only note the laxity but crack the whip.
“The system has been subverted by the past governments and for sure it will take time to ensure that tasks are done and timelines met,” he said. The poorest performance was shown by the state’s irrigation department which has so far not even started work on the 9,668 km it was tasked with. Interestingly, both the PWD and Irrigation department, which have fared badly, are headed by Keshav Prasad Maurya. Maurya however has assured that roads will be fixed soon. Chief Minister Adityanath had promised pothole-free roads by June 15 and said action will be taken against the departments that fail to meet the deadline.