To PM Modi jab at expressway event near Delhi, Congress’s stinging comeback

Congress hit back by saying that the Modi government and the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana were endangering the lives of commuters by inaugurating an incomplete expressway.

Updated: Nov 19, 2018 16:34:37

By HT Correspondent

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a public meeting during 'Jan Vikas' rally, at Sultanpur village, in Gurugram. (PTI Photo)

Inaugurating the Kundli-Manesar section of the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) western peripheral expressway, Prime Minister Narendra Modi came down heavily on the previous government at the Centre. He said the way the UPA government functioned is a case study in how to waste money.

“When this project was started, it was estimated that it would cost Rs 1,200 crore. But due to the delay, its cost has gone up by 3 times,” he said.

Modi said, “The Western Peripheral Expressway had to be completed before the Commonwealth Games, but we all know what was done back then. This expressway was a victim of that.”

Criticising the UPA government, Modi said, “The expressway’s story can be told in two images. One is of the present which shows the BJP’s work culture and the other is of the project’s status during the previous government’s time. This second image tells us how work was continuing 12 years ago. It reminds us of how the expressway should have been ready 8-9 years ago. But that didn’t happen. The previous government’s work culture delayed the project by 12 years.”

Not willing to take the PM’s assault lying down, the Congress hit back saying that the Modi government and the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana were endangering the lives of commuters by inaugurating an incomplete expressway. Tweeting about it, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “PM Modi & CM Khattar are endangering the lives of thousands of commuters by illegally and forcibly inaugurating an incomplete KMP Expressway today.”

Surjewala demanded to know why “no testing of KMP by engineers, illegally called as Partial COD(Commercial Operation Day)”, had been done.

In his tweet, he also said, the third party consultant had refused to give ‘completion certificate’ and “even HSIIDC (Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corp) refused to own responsibility for mishap”

He asked if Modi and Khattar were “risking commuter lives only for quick publicity in the middle of elections and to benefit the private operator”.

Addressing PM Modi, Surjewala said “You cancel the inauguration, order and enquiry and get the KMP completed”.

Apart from the KMP, Modi also threw open the 3.2 km-long Ballabhgarh-Mujesar Metro rail link, connecting Delhi and Faridabad. He also laid the foundation stone of the Shri Vishwakarma Skill University, which will come up at Dudhola in Palwal district.

The inaugurations and foundation laying stone ceremonies were done through remote from Sultanpur village in the district.

Among those present at the inauguration were Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Union ministers Rao Inderjit Singh and Birender Singh. Haryana Governor Satyadev Narayan Arya was also present.

The 135-KM-long KMP expressway’s Manesar to Palwal stretch was inaugurated earlier this year.

The length of the stretch from Kundli to Manesar is over 83 km. This stretch would have 14 major or minor bridges, 56 underpasses or agricultural vehicular underpasses, seven intersections and seven toll plazas.

The expressway will help decongest the road traffic from Delhi, especially reducing the number of trucks entering the national capital, helping in reducing pollution.

Besides, the project will also provide high-speed connectivity between northern Haryana and southern districts and provide an uninterrupted high-speed link for traffic, especially commercial traffic, from Haryana to neighbouring states.

First Published: Nov 19, 2018 15:21:19


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