MPs need to be consulted on PM’s rural roads scheme: Minister

New Delhi : There is a mandatory provision in the rule book that elected lawmakers in the Lok Sabha ought to be consulted for taking up projects under Prime Minister Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said here on Thursday.

“I am also an elected member. So I understand the grievances and pain of the elected members. If there are states where the elected MPs are not being consulted, the central government will ensure that such consultation does take place,” Tomar told the Lok Sabha during question hour.

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Answering supplementary questions from members, he said under the rules framed for PMGSY, the superintendent engineer of the concerned projects should contact MPs and ensure that there is a joint inspection of the spot.

The issue was flagged during question hour by Congress MP Badaruddoza Khan from Murshidabad who complained that while a sum of Rs 2,623 crore was allotted to West Bengal under the project, “it is a matter of great regret that not a single rupee was allotted” to his constituency for the implementation of the PMGSY and nobody consulted him in this regard.

Khan said he has already written two letters to the Union minister. “I have requested the district magistrate. I have raised this question in the general meeting of the Zila Parishad also, but nothing has been done for the last two years,” he said.

The MP was supported by party colleague and West Bengal Pradesh Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Choudhury.

As several members wanted to raise this issue, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said if members want, the house can take up a 30-minute discussion on the subject.

Minister Tomar said: “We came to power just some months back, you (Congress) were in power.”

Heena Gavit, BJP member from Maharashtra, complained that during spot inspection it was often found that “roads were not only of poor quality but also the length of the road constructed was way less than what was sanctioned”.

She demanded the minister should also initiate actions on such complaints.

Minister of State for Roads Ram Kripal Yadav asserted that the government will never make any compromise on the standards of the roads.

Speaker Mahajan also told the minister that members want that they are taken into confidence when road construction works in their respective constituencies are taken up.