Vardhan asks CRRI to develop methods to curb corruption in road construction
Concerned over rampant corruption prevailing in road construction, Union Science & Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan has asked scientists of Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) to develop some mechanism to curb the corruption.
However, the scientists, who take the pride in developing technologies for enhancing road safety, passed the buck on implementing agencies such as Road Transport Ministry, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and civic authorities to keep an eye on ill-practices in road building.
While taking stock of research works being done by CRRI on Saturday, Vardhan told scientists to leave aside whatever had happened in the previous governments and work in tandem with all other research institutions under the Central Council of Industrial Research (CSIR) in the better interest of the country.
“Given that CRRI is a premium institute, scientists should focus on developing technologies for the benefit of common masses and not for showcasing it in laboratories or journals,” the minister said, while urging young scientists to keep on thinking about new innovations.
When asked what kind of mechanism needs to be developed, Vardhan said, “I have left it to the scientists of CRRI as they also know that how many types of corruption is prevalent in road construction sector. Contractors use several fraudulent techniques to make an undue profit resulting into bad quality of roads, so this needs to be stopped.”
Reacting on the minister’s idea, CRRI Director Satish Chandra said, “We cannot formulate policy for it as it’s not under our ambit, but yes we can issue guidelines to implementing agencies and it’s upto them to make it followed by their contractors.”
In contrary to Chandra, chief scientist Kishore Kumar said that video mounted laying vehicles can be used during the process of pavement laying, which may reduce some ill-practices.