N Singh Mehta
Shimla –(Feb. 7) – Himachal Pradesh assembly on Thursday saw a first walk out in the present budget session with opposition Congress protesting against the government for “failing” to get the approval of the 70 National Highways (NH) supposedly sanctioned by the centre.
“The state BJP government is misleading the people of Himachal over the number of NH roads sanctioned and the budget allocated by the centre for said roads. BJP keeps on harping about these sanctioned NHs in rallies and public places, claiming that Rs 65000cr were granted for 69 highways in Himachal by the centre. Nothing was done in the previous Budgets by the Modi government and now last interim budget also did not mention anything about these roads,” said Opposition Congress leader Mukesh Agnihotri, talking to media outside the Assembly today.
Mukesh said the state government was masking the reality involved in coming up of these roads, as no numbering of the NHs was done and no fund provisions was made by the centre government.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur blamed the previous Congress government for deliberately stalling the process for the highways for more than one year before the 2017 Assembly polls.“The previous Congress government didn’t want to give advantage to the BJP for giving in-principle approval to 70 national highways,” he said.
Thakur said the Congress government had started the process for just eight detailed project reports (DPRs) of the highways in over one year, whereas our government has started the process of outsourcing for 50 DPRs.“It takes time for notification of the highways after in-principle approval as there are so many procedures involved,” the Chief Minister added.
Describing the move as unfortunate, the Chief Minister said the Congress was looking for an opportunity to stage a walkout.