73 construction companies in Bihar declared ‘defaulters’

June 6th, 2009 - 2:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, June 6 (IANS) The Bihar government has declared 73 construction companies, including several prestigious firms engaged in road construction in the state, as “defaulters” after they failed to complete projects on time, officials said Saturday.
These companies would not be allowed to participate in any tenders for road construction, the officials said, adding Road Construction Minister Prem Kumar was unhappy with the companies for the delay in completing roads within the deadline set by the government and ignoring warnings to speed up the construction of roads.

“The time has gone when contractors and construction companies used to delay work and no action was taken against them. Now the government is serious about improving roads and will not hesitate to blacklist them for delays,” an official of the road construction department said.

According to the officials, these 73 companies were engaged in construction of all types of roads including rural, state highways and national highways in the state.

Other departments like water resources, building construction, rural development and bridge construction have also been informed of the list of defaulters.

Till a few years ago, Bihar was notorious for its poor roads, with most of the existing roads and highways in a bad condition. However, in the last three and half years, the Nitish Kumar-led government started construction of roads on a priority basis.

Till April 2009, out of the total length of 2,035 km of state highway, about 1,288 km have not only been improved but also upgraded to double lane as Bihar strives to be the first state in India to have all its state highways upgraded to double-lane roads.

Out of about 8,000 km of main district roads (MDRs), 3,432 kms have already been upgraded. Of the 2,000 km of national highways passing through Bihar, over 1,200 km have been upgraded.

The plan outlay for the roads for 2009-10 is over Rs.2,300 crore (Rs.23 billion).

However, the slow pace of road construction in Bihar is also attributed to threats of Maoists and criminal gangs to the construction firms.

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