Manipur RDPR Minister Yumnam Khemchand on Friday dismissed the MPCC allegation as baseless and clarified that there is no misappropriation of funds for construction of roads sanctioned under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) 2017-2018. He said the ongoing construction work is equal to the sanction cost.
The minister asserted that there is no misappropriation of bills in the three districts, viz., Churachandpur, Tamenglong and Chandel, as all the bills are sanctioned after witnessing the geo-tag status of the respective work.
Geo-tagging of construction work has been made compulsory while sanctioning any bill for the department, he said.
Khemchand also clarified that for Churachandpur district, the total work for road construction is 1089.37 km and not 411.75 km as mentioned by the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president.
For the district, completed road construction work is 356.7 km and not 33.7 km and 727.87 km roads are still under construction at different stages, he said.
Terming the allegation of the MPCC president "totally wrong and baseless", he said that 2017-2018 was not his tenure but there was one report during the period for withdrawal of excess bills for construction of roads in Tamenglong district.
He, however, had instructed the concerned engineers and contractor to start construction work to withdraw the excess bill, he said.
If the construction work is not completed as per excess amount withdrawn earlier than legal action will be taken against the concerned engineers and contractor, Khemchand added.
Regarding the maintenance of quality of road construction, the state quality monitor (SQM) will be monitoring the quality, he said, adding that no bills will be sanctioned without the approval of the SQM.
For Chandel district there is no issue on road construction and the construction work is continuing smoothly, Khemchand said. He said that in the north-eastern region, construction of roads is hard to complete within a recommended time period due to frequent rainfall.
The minister appealed not to charge baseless allegations which could defame the department and called for cooperation for a better-quality road for both hills and valleys.
It is said that since the inception of PMGSY scheme in Manipur, a total of 11,672.54 km road construction work and total length of 8,396.78 m for construction of bridges were sanctioned under PMGSY-I and II with a total cost of Rs 5,547.88 crore.
Till date 9,582.89 km of road construction and 3,343.51 m of bridge construction has been completed with an expenditure amount of Rs 4,108.15. The department is yet to complete 2,089.65 km of road construction and 5,053.27 m of bridge construction and has a balance amount of Rs 1,439.79 crore.