Locals allege corruption in tarring work of Paonta Sahib-Shillai-Hatkoti road- Lifeline of Himachal’s trans-Giri region
The road is being mettled for the first time in last 25 years, and still the work is of the lowest quality. The BJP MLA, Shillai, Baldev Singh Tomar, is taking least interest in the matter, said the locals.
SIRMAUR– Locals in Himachal Pradesh’s Shillai region have alleged corruption in the tender for the ongoing tarring work on the National Highway 707 that connects Poanta Sahib and Shillai in Sirmaur with Hatkoti in Shimla. One of the locals wrote to Himachal Watcher and provided a video clip and a few pictures showing the tarring work near Borad in Shillai, Sirmaur district. The complainant, representing the unrest among the locals, alleged that the road is being mettled for the first time in last 25 years, and still the work is of the lowest quality.
The NH 707 had come into existence in 2008. Prior to that, it was known as NH 72 B and has always remained the lifeline of the Trans-Giri region of the hill state. It holds a strategic value and directly affects the economy of the region. Presenting these very facts, the State government had for years insisted the Centre to spend on its maintenance and declare it NH.
Finally, when the tarring work of the road is in progress these days, the locals have alleged the contractor of ridiculously poor quality of work that wouldn’t last even a month. The video clearly supports the allegations.
The contractor, said the locals, is using minimum amount of material for tarring to extract maximum profit out of this deal. Also, the road is being given only single layer of thin tarring while it requires much better quality.
The BJP MLA, Shillai, Baldev Singh Tomar, is taking least interest in the matter, said the locals. They also alleged that the previous Sub-divisional magistrate, Shillai, Vikas Shukla, who had taken up the issue regarding the maintenance of the road, was transferred. The new SDM, Girish Saklani isn’t showing any concern either, the locals further alleged.
The NH Authority and the contractor are openly making fool of thousands of people who are dependent on this road. It’s being mettled for the the first time in past 25 years, and still it’s being done in a miserable way, using lowest quality material possible,
the local told HW.
People had also approached the Public Works Department and had brought the matter to the attention of officials. However, PWD washed its hands off saying the National Highway Authority is responsible for the maintenance of the road.
It’s pertinent to mention that poor quality tarring work and use of low quality materials are widespread in Himachal Pradesh. The remote regions are most neglected by the governments that otherwise exploit this very necessity right before elections. Elections for the HP Assembly are due in this November, and miserable road work is likely to count when it’ll come to voting.