Uttar Pradesh CM concedes roads are bad and orders an audit of PWD tenders issued
Official circles in Lucknow are abuzz with speculation over differences between between Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya as the Yogi admits to poor public works
Differences seem to have cropped up between Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya as Yogi has ordered an audit of the tenders issued by PWD in the last two years besides setting a deadline for making state highways pothole-free by November 15.
PWD is headed by Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Keshav Prasad Maurya.
The directives of the Chief Minister were issued during a review meeting, which was skipped by Maurya. No one could explain why the PWD minister was absent and how in the absence of the minister concerned, the Chief Minister carried out the review meeting.
The Chief Minister voiced his annoyance about the working of the PWD and asked the Principal Secretary of the Public Works Department to take strict action against officials in districts where funds had been withdrawn but no work done. "FIR should be lodged against such people," he said.
He did not end here as he ordered an audit of all tenders issued by PWD in the last two years. Alarmed BJP leaders confided that if actually a “serious audit” was carried out, many skeletons were likely to tumble out. The officers have been talking about something seriously gone wrong between the CM and Maurya.
“Cuts and commissions are not new in the PWD. We are told the Maurya sahib has been asked by senior BJP leadership to collect funds for the party and thus a major chunk of commission money is going to BJP. In this background the Chief Minister ordering an audit seems very curious,” an official said on condition of anonymity.
Yogi has also voiced his displeasure over the condition of roads and instructed officials that all roads should be made ‘pothole free’ by November 15. The CM reportedly directed the formality of doing patchwork would not suffice, that special attention should be paid to quality. "Accountability should be fixed for the existing bad roads and guilty should be punished," Yogi said during a review meeting.
Chief Minister Yogi said that the condition of national highways is very bad. Where construction is in progress, no alternative arrangements have been made causing inconvenience to the people. He also instructed NHAI officials to inspect Gorakhpur-Varanasi, Mau-Gorakhpur and Mau-Varanasi road and prepare a report. He also asked the Chief Secretary, RK Tiwari to review it and take action against the officials and contractors and also write a letter to the Union Road and Transport Ministry.
He expressed displeasure over the condition of roads in rural areas. He instructed Principal Secretary of the Rural Development Department to ensure that the roads in the villages are completely repaired.