Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari was on Monday invited for the virtual inauguration of the newly constructed National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) building in Dwarka.
The NHAI officials were possibly expecting a word of praise from the Union Minister for the completion of the project. But little did they know that the Union Minister had decided to go all guns blazing against them, exposing them for their “perverted ideology”, “unworthiness” and “corruption”. Nitin Gadkari was not happy that the completion of the building took 9 years, and he decided to use this opportunity to roast the officials for delays in completing projects.
Taking a swipe at the NHAI officials, Gadkari said, “During a ceremony like this, the convention says that one should congratulate people involved in the completion of the project. But I don’t know how should I do that. The plan of the construction of the building was ready by 2008 and in 2011 it won the tender for the construction. It took 9 years for the completion of this Rs 200-250 crore project. It took two central governments and 8 chairmen to ensure that the work is completed.”
Gadkari slams NHAI officials for inordinate delays
Gadkari was visibly unhappy that the NHAI was celebrating the mediocrity of the organisation as the project which should have been completed in 2-3 years took more than 9 years for its completion. It is to highlight this inefficiency that the Union Minister made sarcastic jibes at the organisation and those responsible for this predicament.
I’ve now attended hundreds of Indian politicians’ project inauguration speeches in the last decade.— Bhuvan Bagga 吧奥文 (@Bhuvanbagga) October 28, 2020
BUT this is a first!
Minister @nitin_gadkari goes off-script at NHAI building inauguration. Asks what is there to congratulate? Vividly describes the rot inside. pic.twitter.com/YwKpMGufLv
In a bid to (dis)honour the officials responsible in the construction of the NHAI building, Gadkari mockingly suggested the current chairman of the agency to put up the photos of the CGMs and GMs in the new office for taking 9 long years for its completion.
Perhaps, a ‘wall of shame’ with the portraits of the NHAI officials responsible for the delay of the building construction was what the Union Minister was suggesting.
Gadkari even scoffed at the NHAI’s decision of setting the highly ambitious deadline of 3 years for the completion of Mumbai-Delhi highway. “When the NHAI building project worth Rs 200-250 crores took 9 years for completion, I really doubt how the Mumbai-Delhi highway project that is pegged at Rs 80,000 crore- Rs 1,00,000 crores be completed in just 3 years,” Gadkari sharply noted.
The culture at NHAI breeds “perverted ideology” and inefficient officials embody ‘Vish Kanyas’: Gadkari
If this was not enough, Gadkari even proceeded to take potshots at the culture of the agency that promoted and preserved people with “perverted ideology” who not only remained indecisive but also created hurdles and complications in the work.
“Such people with perverted ideology, who stick to their positions for more than 12-13 years in the organisation, ironically also become philosophers and guides to the chairman of the agency,” Gadkari sardonically noted while ridiculing the culture that has rewarded inefficient officials and their tardiness.
Gadkari continued flaying the officials, likening them to “Vish Kanya” (Venomous people) and expressed his astonishment over why such individuals are still treated as “philosophers” and “guides” from top to bottom in the agency.
Mincing no words, Gadkari said the excessive delay in construction of the NHAI building demonstrated the unworthiness and depravity of the agency’s tradition of CGMs and GMs.
The tradition of CGMs and GMs is unworthy, corrupt and useless: Gadkari
Furthermore, Gadkari highlighted some instances when the indecisiveness of the NHAI officials had caused an additional burden on the public exchequer. In one instance, a contract which was initially quoted to be completed in 400 crores, ended up being finalised by the organisation at Rs 1400 crores. In another such instance, the NHAI had rejected the idea of continuing a project’s second leg with the same contractor. A new tender was floated and the same contractor was awarded the construction work at a premium of Rs 400-500 crore.
bhrasht, nikamme… pic.twitter.com/X3bd2uxpnW— Bhuvan Bagga 吧奥文 (@Bhuvanbagga) October 28, 2020
Calling them “unworthy”, “corrupt” and “useless”, Gadkari said, “The committee of CGMs (Chief General Managers) and GMs (General Managers) have never taken a decision. All they do is spread negativity and add unnecessary laws to cause interminable delays in the projects.”
Inefficient officials of NHAI were further castigated by the Union Minister and were called as “non-performing assets” and incapable of performing even vermiculture properly.
Gadkari did not stop at that. He continued laying into the officials, suggesting a research paper should be done to highlight the reasons for the delays in the project.
The Union Minister warned that if things continue like this, he will have no option but to evaluate the performance of the officials. “I will have no other option to assess the performance of the officials. I need to resolve this issue and get rid of unwanted non-performing officials that are incapable of making quick decisions which ultimately delays the projects,” Gadkari said.
You could watch the full video here.