Big bungling in Jharkhand on President’s visit

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Ranchi, Jan 16 (IANS) The Jharkhand government spent Rs.5 crore on repairing four roads in preparation for President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to the state only to have them develop cracks within a week of being made ready, an official said.

To make matters worse, Rs. 1.25 crore was spent on three temporary helipads that were supposedly to be used during the president’s January 9-10 visit but were not, the official told IANS, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The opposition Congress party has slammed the Raghubar Das government for causing loss to the public exchequer.

Chief Minister Raghubar Das himself controls the roads department.

The roads that started to come apart within days of being repaired included those connecting Booty roundabout to BIT roundabout and BIT roundabout to BIT-Mesra. The president’s entourage was to pass through these roads.

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“We will look into how the roads developed cracks within a week,” the official said.

Government sources said “the standards were not adhered to” which is a sort of code language for “corruption”.

“The thin layer was put on the dilapidated roads. The material used may not have been as per the guidelines,” the sources said.

The three temporary helipads were created at Khela Gao and BIT Mesra without a confirmation of the route that Mukherjee’s entourage was to take.

They were supposedly to be used by Mukherjee for his visit to the Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan at Khelgaon and for attending Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Birla Institute of Technology, but were never used.

Mukherjee chose to go to these venues by road.

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“The president’s programme is fixed in advance and the repairing of the roads was done at the eleventh hour. It seems there was complete lack of coordination among government officials causing loss to the exchequer,” Alok Dubey, general secretary of Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee, told IANS.

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