Public Works Department has invited bids for widening State Highway 85 between Kukke Subrahmanya and Kerala border, according to B.S. Balakrishna, outgoing Superintending Engineer, Public Works, Ports and Inland Water Transport Department, Mangalore Circle.
Addressing presspersons in Mangalore before handing over charge to H.V. Harish, Mr. Balakrishna said bids had been invited to widen the 42-km stretch via Guthigar, Sonangeri and Jalsoor. The stretch would be widened from 3.75 mts to 5.5 mts under the State Highways Development Project (SHDP).
The stretch (SH 85) connected Mani-Mysore State Highway 88 at Jalsoor Gate near Sullia.
He said that the stretch would be widened without changing the alignment at curves. (Curves on the stretch would remain as they are).
Mr. Balakrishna said that he had asked a company to develop software for keeping record of roads and buildings under the circle. The software, pavement management system, should be able to store data of 25 years.
He said the software would have details of roads such as width, right of way, sub-soil condition, traffic details, works carried out in the past, details on maintenance, future plan, and the like. When applied to buildings, it would pop up details such as its history and design. “About half of work on developing the software has been completed,” he said.
Mr. Balakrishna said that during his four-year stint as superintending engineer of the circle covering Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kodagu districts, quality assurance laboratories had been set up in all subdivisions of the department. It enabled engineers to conduct quality assurance tests regularly.
He said that specified standard registers were printed separately for different category of works and given to engineers. They had been asked to conduct quality assurance tests regularly as per frequency and record them in registers.
Mr. Balakrishna said that strict instructions had been given to engineers to use 60/70 grade bitumen only. Executive engineers had been asked to check the invoices before accepting the bills.
Referring to contractors, he said: “It is possible to get the best work done even from a worst contractor. Only we should have concern to get the work done.”
Though contractor too faced problems such as non-availability of workers, high wages and rainfall, “there cannot be any reason for bad quality of work,” he said.
Mr. Harish, who took over as superintending engineer of the circle on Wednesday, was earlier superintending engineer of Panchayat Raj Engineering Circle, Mangalore.