Bhopal: With Madhya Pradesh scheduled to go for Assembly polls later this year, the bumpy roads in the state may give a jerk to the ruling BJP as it had won the 2003 and 2008 elections by promising to improve quality of roads.
Even as people have been facing the difficulty while travelling on the pot-holed roads in the state, the issue came into limelight late last year when noted actress and BJP MP Hema Malini complained about it, particularly about the Gwalior-Datia road, which is a part of national highway 75.
Later, in December when actress Raveena Tandon visited the state for a function, she also publicly complained about the bumpy roads she experienced while en route to Gwalior from Jhansi.
When asked to comment on the bad condition of roads, a senior state government official said on condition of anonymity that, "Procedural delays in sanctioning funds for the development of national highways passing through the state and inadequate funds provided by the Centre for their maintenance are the two major problems which resulted in poor condition of these roads."
The total length of National Highway passing through the state is 4,709 kms, out of which over 50 per cent is being maintained by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) while the rest is taken care of by the state government`s Public Works Department`s (PWD), the official said.
Out of the total requirement, only 30-35 per cent funds have been made available by the Centre for maintaining these highways, which is not sufficient, he said.
However, Leader of Opposition in MP Assembly, Ajay Singh said the state was getting huge amount of funds as compared to what it used to get when Congress was in power.
Quoting statistics from the State Planning Commission, Ajay said the government was unable to utilise Rs 543 crore allocated to PWD for maintaining roads.
But, the state government`s spokesman and Health and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra asserted that the state was not getting adequate funds from the Centre for maintenance of the national highways.