Nitin Gadkari, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister has rejected the allegations of corruption and mismanagement of funds in the Dwarka Expressway project in Delhi. It was flagged by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India in a report. They further added that the Dwarka Expressway which will cover 29.06 kilometers, is being built under the cost of INR 250.77 crore per kilometer. However, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has sanctioned an exceeding amount of INR 18.2 crore per kilometer.
On this, Nitin Gadkari said that CAG made the statement based on the gross misrepresentation of facts. They actually did not check the features of the expressway and considered accounts. Gadkari further added that the expressway is 230 kilometers long not 29 kilometers as mentioned by CAG. Also, the root has tunnels. Moreover, 9.5 crores INR is being spent per kilometer, which is lower than the estimation of CAG.
Gadkari did not stop there and also questioned the response of the ministry to the objections of CAG. It became a big controversy. To avoid such things in the future, he said the authorities to take some corrective measures and fixed responsibility.
The Significance Of The Project
The Dwarka Expressway also becomes important because it helps in reducing travel time from two big places named Delhi and Mumbai. It was given to IRB Infrastructure Developers LTD in 2019 after it was passed in 2006. Hopefully, the project will complete by 2023. Also, the route will provide amazing connectivity to various places such as airports, tourist destinations, industrial hubs, and much more.
Nitin Gadkari said that the development of such an amazing expressway, it will also generate employment opportunities for lakhs of people around India. Also, it will help in developing various places.
The Opposition’s Allegations on Nitin Gadkari
However, Nitin Gadkari has been facing a lot of allegations from various parties. Now the Congress party accused him of favoring IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd, which has good relations with his family. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh wants a thorough investigation in this matter and he also approached Prime Minister for the same.
Digvijaya Singh also alleged that the violation of the established practices in the tendering procedures as the contract was awarded to a single bidder without following the Swiss Challenge method. He also questioned whether the IRB group can manage such a complex project because it didn’t have much experience in such a big project.
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh also said that IRB has invested money in the company of Nitin Gadkari. Moreover, from 2009-2011, Gadkari was promoter director in Ideal Energy Projects Ltd which was a subsidiary of IRB group.
Nitin Gadkari’s Rebuttal
Nitin Gadkari has also dismissed the allegations of Digvijaya Singh and said them ‘completely false’. He said that his ministry did a complete and transparent e-tender system for the selection of IRB Group. Not only this, but he also defended the IRB group’s credentials and said that it has completed several big projects in India and Abroad. The IRB group has also won the contract through a competitive bidding process and had offered the lowest prices and better quality of work among other bidders.
Gadkari has also hired Switzerland and Australian experts for the construction of tunnels. He has also said that he is ready to face any investigation and inquiry regarding this matter because everything he has done for this expressway is fair and clean. He did not hide anything from anyone and also not misused the funds. Nitin Gadkari is quite confident and has trust in the scrutiny of the Ministry that they will do a thorough investigation for the sake of quality and transparency of the project.