Shimla: Because of cut in the central grants, the hill state of Himachal Pradesh is estimated to suffer a loss of around Rs. 20,000 crore from the period between 2015-2020.

Deputy Chairman, State Planning Board GR Musafir and Chairman State Level Planning Development and 20 Point Programme Committee Ram Lal Thakur, in their joint statement, claimed the Himachal Pradesh has suffered a loss of Rs. 1500 crore during the last two years due to transfer of central taxes to the State.

Congress leaders blamed Union Government for curtailing and withholding funds of centrally sponsored schemes.

Ridiculing the accusations of BJP leader Rajiv Bindal, in which he has said that the State has been unable to prepare Detailed Project Report (DPR) of as many as 61 roads as National highways, congress leaders claimed

“on the request of Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh that the Union Ministry gave its consolidated approval for these national highways in 2016 and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways granted approval on 27th October, 2016 for Rs. 229.69 crore for preparation of DPRs through consultants”

They said consultancy services are required for preparation DPRs for 59 proposed highways whereas for remaining two national highways, it is not required. Therefore, only two roads can be notified as National Highways. They said that technical bids have been opened for 42 roads and financial evaluation of 10 roads has also been done. The technical bids of these roads have been opened and sent for approval of the Union Ministry and after approval the works would be allocated.

They said that the process was delayed as the Road Transport and Highway Ministry desired to float tenders again on its revised norms. Keeping the revised norms in consideration, the State Government floated tenders for 59 roads for a period ranging between 24th September, 2016 to 27thJan, 2017.

They said there was no delay on the part of the National Highway wing of State PWD department which has always been pro-active since the from date of announcements and in principle declaration of the 61 National Highways by Union Ministry.

Musafir and Thakur said that criticism of the State Government by BJP leaders was unwarranted as the State Government has made enough progress in this process and the remaining approvals are to be given by the Government of India.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.