Updated: February 27, 2016 10:15:09 pm
Even as Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari on Saturday laid foundation stones for two crucial bridges across the Brahmaputra and announced that the Centre would spend about Rs 100,000 crores for roads and bridges in the Northeast in the next five years, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi skipped the function by calling it an election gimmick.
Gadkari, who arrived in Assam on a day-long tour during which he laid foundation stones of several projects in Moran, Dhakuakhona, Majuli and Guwahati, also said that the new roads and bridges projects would generate jobs for over 1.5 lakh people in the next few years. “Two new bridges across the Brahmaputra will give a big boost to surface communication in Assam and the Northeast,” he said.
The projects for which he laid foundation stones included a bridge each across the Brahmaputra connecting Sivasagar with North Lakhimpur via Disangmukh and Jorhat with Lakhimpur via Majuli, four-laning of 82.5 kms of NH-715 costing Rs 1980 crore, a Rs 50.76-crore ship repair facility in Guwahati. He also inaugurated a new ferry service between Dhubri and Hatsingimari on the Brahmaputra costing Rs 80.26 crore.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, however, preferred to skip the functions, with a statement issued by his office late in the evening saying Gadkari had laid foundation stones for two Brahmaputra bridges without allegedly preparing any detailed project report (DPR).
“The foundation stone laying of the two bridges by Union Minister Gadkari without preparing the DPRs has exposed that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is out to hoodwink the people with an eye on the upcoming Assembly election. I have never seen a central government like the present one of going on foundation stone laying spree without preparing the DPRs. They are out to hoodwink the people with an eye on the elections,” Chief Minister Gogoi said.
Gogoi, in his statement also questioned how the project cost for the two massive bridges across the Brahmaputra could be estimated without preparing the DPRs and feasibility reports. The union ministry’s advertisement however had not mentioned any cost of the bridges. Instead it had mentioned that Gadkari would only announce the “in-principle” preparation of DPRs for the two bridges.
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