Proposals worth Rs.1,000 crore for laying of roads awaiting the Chief Minister’s clearance
The Roads & Buildings Department is literally flooded with proposals for new roads and expansion of existing ones from the people’s representatives of several districts as the government has entered the final lap in an election year. In addition to the ongoing works worth Rs.1,550 crore, proposals worth another Rs.1,000 crore under plan are awaiting the Chief Minister’s clearance. Works worth Rs.350 crore outside the plan have already been cleared for maintenance and widening of existing roads. “Thus, road proposals worth Rs.3,000 crore sent by Ministers and MLAs are with us,” sources said.
With roads to be the visible face of development, Ministers and MLAs are mounting pressure for early clearance to the proposals. “We expect clearance to the new proposals by the month-end and soon after online tenders will be floated,” R&B officials said.
As the tender process and finalising the bids will take a couple of months, the works could be grounded by July-end at least in Rayalaseema, Nellore and Prakasam districts which would not be so much impacted by the monsoon rains as much as in other districts. The road works would be spread in all the 23 districts. Though Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy had been giving priority for transport and infrastructure sector in the last two years, prolonged neglect of early years had taken a toll on at least 17,000 km of roads which were not even re-laid, sources said. The department sought double laning of 1,200 km of roads under the core network roads which are flooded with maximum traffic. Even for State Highways, while plan allocation is about Rs.83 crore, works sanctioned earlier and grounded are worth about Rs.200 crore. All this can improve the quality and condition of majority of R&B roads in the coming months provided there is no compromise on quality of material coupled with strict supervision to make contractors stick to norms.