The Uttar Pradesh government today claimed that it has made nearly 63 per cent roads in the state pothole-free and termed it as a record of sorts which the opposition parties dismissed as “mere eyewash”. Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said of the 1,21,034 km damaged roads in the state, 76,356 km, which comes out to be 63 per cent, have been made pothole-free. The high-performing departments or schemes are Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (96 per cent), Public Works Department (82 per cent), National Highways Authority of India (81 per cent) and State Highways Authority (74 per cent), he said at a press conference. Irrigation and Panchayati Raj departments are the worst- performing, Maurya said. On March 25, a week after taking oath as the chief minister, Yogi Adityanath had said in Gorakhpur that he has told the PWD officials to ensure that roads in the state are made pothole-free by June 15.
According to official sources, it might take two more months before people can enjoy a smooth ride and claimed the delay was due to the e-tendering process and the new mining policy which has made it difficult to get raw materials. Maurya alleged that the previous SP and BSP governments did not repair the roads. “The SP government had taken the state backward by almost 30 years. Many of the Centre’s welfare measures were stopped because of political ego. A number of state highways could have been transformed into national highways, but there were no such efforts,” he said. “The work which Akhilesh and Mayawati could not do in so many years, we have done in less than 100 days,” the deputy chief minister said, adding the Adityanath government will bring out a white paper on its achievements since it assumed office on March 19.
State Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh said, “The people of Uttar Pradesh have now started realising that they have been duped by this government.” “The chief minister and his deputy are MPs and cannot select an Assembly constituency for themselves. There is no point in talking about pothole-free roads, their claim is mere eyewash,” he said. Former state minister and Samajwadi Party leader Abhishek Mishra said, “We are keeping a close watch on the government’s performance. Rather than criticising the SP, the government must look at the investment made in road infrastructure during the Akhilesh Yadav government.”
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Maurya said a six-lane bridge will be constructed over the Ganga river in Allahabad’s Phaphamau area while Lucknow is likely to get elevated roads at seven different locations. On the Samajwadi Party’s charge that the BJP government in the state is doing very little to address farmers’ woes, the deputy chief minister said, “The BJP is sensitive to the plight of the farmers and we will redress their grievances.” Maurya also said that there is no deadline for waiving farmers’ loans as it is an ongoing process.