The Congress, which is the opposition party in the Himachal Pradesh assembly, staged a walkout on Thursday over the issue of delay in construction of 70 national highways that were announced by the central government for the state.
Congress claims that the BJP government here was not able to get any money of the Rs 65,000 crore announced by the central government for the construction of the national highways.
Questioning the state government about the status of the national highways, Leader of the Opposition in the assembly, Mukesh Agnihotri, claimed, “None of the 70 national highways have been sanctioned yet. Of the Rs 65,000 announced by the central government for the national highways, no money has been received yet and work had not begun on any national highway.”
In reply to Agnihotri’s claims, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said, “The national highway projects were announced by the central government when the Congress was in power in the state. However, in over a year after the announcements of the projects, the Congress had outsourced only eight Detailed Project Reports (DPRs). Whereas, in just a year my government has outsourced 50 DPRs.”
Dissatisfied with CM’s reply, the Congress started chanting “national highway dhokha hai (national highway projects are a sham)”, in the assembly and staged a walkout.
After the walkout, Thakur said in the assembly, “Construction of the national highways is a serious issue for us. (Over the past year) we have met Modi ji and Gadkari ji several times over the issue, and our concerned officials are in regular talks with the central government for getting the highways sanctioned.”
“Money will be given, eventually, for the projects, but it’ll take its due time because a number of procedures are involved in the process of getting national highways constructed,” he said.
Condemning the walkout, Thakur said, “The Congress is raising unnecessary issues because the Lok Sabha elections are approaching.”