Contracts for road construction awarded with inflated cost, alleges Sena (UBT) leader

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Mumbai, Jul 11 (PTI) Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Anil Parab on Thursday alleged that the Maharashtra government recently awarded contracts of Rs 89,000 crore for road construction when the actual cost of these projects was Rs 49,000 crore.

Speaking in the legislative council, he claimed that this was being done to raise funds from construction companies for the coming assembly elections.

"The Maharashtra government issued tenders for highway construction projects worth Rs 89,000 crore. The actual quoted price in the tenders was Rs 49,000 crore. Despite this, some construction companies have been awarded contracts at inflated prices. This is aimed at collection of funds ahead of the state assembly elections," Parab alleged.

The projects in question were Virar-Alibaug, Nagpur-Gondia-Chandrapur and Jalna-Nagpur highways and the Pune Ring Road, he said.

"All the contracts for these highway construction projects have been awarded with inflated costs. The National Highway Authority of India's rate for constructing a one-kilometre stretch of six-lane road is Rs 86 crore. But the Maharashtra government tender quoted Rs 266 crore for an eight-lane road. This raises suspicion about the government's intentions," he said.

There was no administrative or cabinet approval for these projects, Parab further claimed.

Why the state government was spending so much on road projects when Union minister Nitin Gadkari's ministry (road transport and highways) can build a better six-lane road at a cost of Rs 86 crore per km, the Sena (UBT) leader asked.

Parab also targeted the government over IRS officer Sudhakar Shinde's extended posting on deputation in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Shinde was related to a state BJP legislator and he had overstayed his deputation period, Parab claimed, adding that he was being protected by the government which was unfair to IAS officers in the state. PTI ND KRK

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