Complaints of irregularities in four-laning of the key road connecting Hyderabad and Ramagundam

A committee of the Legislative Council grilled officials of the Roads & Buildings Department over complaints of irregularities in the four-laning of Rajiv Rahadari connecting Hyderabad and Ramagundam.

Members of the House Committee headed by Congress MLC T. Bhanu Prasad met here on Monday to review the implementation of the project.

Charges

The House Committee was constituted following charges of doling out largesse to select contractors who were not maintaining quality in the execution of works.

The members, including educationist Chukka Ramaiah and N. Indrasain Reddy, expressed surprise that neither the contractor nor the department made any mention of land acquisition for the Rs. 1,358-crore project.

The ambitious project was bagged by the DLF-Gayatri Constructions which took up work under the special purpose vehicle HKR Roadways on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (toll) basis with concession period of 25 years.

The SPV was set a deadline of 30 months to complete the works for which grant under viability gap funding was estimated at Rs. 454 crore – Rs. 271.64 crore from the Centre and Rs. 182.36 crore from the State. The committee members reportedly questioned the department’s rationale behind not declaring the major road as a National Highway. They decided to inspect the entire stretch of the road on November 23 and 24 and called for objections/suggestions from people residing in villages abutting the highway.

On a power point presentation by the officials headed by R&B Principal Secretary S.P. Singh, a TRS MLC claimed that the works appeared more like widening of the existing stretch, rather than four-laning. Several security parameters as well as design requirements like the divider were not yet met, Mr. Ramaiah said.