2 minute readIrregularities in road contracts for China border roads

New Delhi: The government has ordered an investigation into alleged irregularities in allocation of Border Roads Organization (BRO) tenders for Indian roads along the border with China, the Lok Sabha (Indian Lower House of Parliament) was informed Tuesday.

In a written reply to a question, Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurien Antony said the probe was being conducted with regard to the tender process and construction of roads in both Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh bordering China.

The BRO has been entrusted with construction of 61 roads totaling 3,394 kilometers along the Sino-Indian border.

“Some irregularities in allocation of tender as well as in construction of roads were reported,” Antony said.

The Chief Technical Examiner (CTE) of the Border Roads Development Board (BRDB) had carried out a technical audit of certain roads constructed along the Sino-Indian border.

“A court of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the irregularities reported in the works in Himachal Pradesh. Further CTE of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has taken up investigation of the cases pertaining to roads in Arunachal Pradesh,” the minister said.

“Officers, against whom prima facie cases were found, have been removed from present assignments,” he added.

Antony also informed the House that the BRO has moved out of Maoist-affected Chhattisgarh where it was constructing a national highway. Project Hirak, was closed down April 1 this year after the government asked the BRO to concentrate on strategic border roads.

BRO was laying a 293-kilometer stretch of National Highway-16 from Chennur in Andhra Pradesh to Sosanpal in Chhattisgarh and, of this, it had completed 189 kilometers when it closed down Project Hirak.

The remainder of the 293-kilometer stretch has been handed over to the state public works department for construction, Antony said.

“In order to enable BRO to give priority to strategic border roads, the government has closed Project Hirak on 1.4.2011 and handed over NH-16 to the state PWD for balance construction,” the minister said.

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