Monday, June 2, 2008

The UPA's next casualty

The UPA's next casualty is the national highways. And when the minister responsible is T. R. Baalu, what else would you expect. While Baalu went out of his way to secure cheap gas for his progeny, he very well made sure that the highways suffered. Here's a report. A few excerpts follow -

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has posted a
56 per cent project completion rate across all phases of the NHDP in 2007-08 in
terms of completion of projects —
the lowest
since the UPA came to power and Union Minister T R Baalu came to head the
Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways.
(emphasis added)

The slide in progress has been continual -

Project completion rate was 81 per cent in 2004-05, 78 per
cent in 2006-07, 73 per cent in 2005-06 and is now down to 56 per cent.

(for the current year)

Interestingly expenditure has not dropped in the same proportion -
NHAI spent Rs 15,639 crore on NHDP in
2007-08 — 89 per cent of what was allocated — and has been fairly close to the
expenditure target in the last four years.
Where did all the money go if the roads didn't get done? But accountability is not something the UPA believes in.

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