Patna: Accusing the Centre of discriminating Bihar in fund allocation for construction of rural roads, state government Tuesday threatened to put up boards of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the proposed roads to highlight that work could not be taken up due to absence of central funds.
"The Rural Works Department will put up boards of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the proposed roads in villages where work could not be taken up due to absence of fund from the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojna (PMGSY)," Rural Works Department Minister Shrawan Kumar said.
The minister said 35,000 km of rural roads would have to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 11,000 crore in the state under PMGSY scheme.
"The state had demanded Rs 4,000 crore in the 2014-15 fiscal, but got an assurance of only for Rs 2042 crore. Even this amount has been further lowered to Rs 1650 crore," the state minister said.
While money for Bihar was being slashed, it had been increased for BJP-ruled states like Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, he alleged.
Against Rs 345 crore initially earmarked for Gujarat under PMGSY, the Centre has sanctioned Rs 400 crore. Likewise for Chhattisgarh, the amount has been scaled up to Rs 277 crore against Rs 227 crore initially earmarked, he claimed.
Kumar, a close confidante of former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, said if the Centre did not provide required fund to the state under PMGSY by December end, the department would start installing boards in the name of the Prime Minister from January next year on roads where work have been hampered due to absence of funds.
He said he would make a request during the coming winter session of state Assembly to allow the department special fund for hanging boards with Prime Minister's name on such roads.
Kumar, who hails from home district of Nalanda of Nitish Kumar, made a scathing attack on union ministers hailing from the state saying, "While they do not miss any chance to cast aspersions on Nitish Kumar without any facts, they do not open their mouth in front of Narendra Modi for release of fund for carrying development works in Bihar."