To ensure quality in laying, repair of roads
Public Works Minister M. Vijayakumar has said that a separate division for quality control will be set up and the vigilance wing of the department strengthened to ensure that road construction and repair adhere to specific quality criteria.
Interacting with members of the media advisory committee attached to the Public Works Department (PWD), Mr. Vijayakumar and PWD Secretary Biswanath Sinha cited the low quality of construction as one of the major reasons for the poor state of roads across the State.
In all future repair and construction work, the emphasis would be on strengthening the road base so that roads would have better life span. The effort would begin with the Sabarimala road on which around Rs.100 crore was being spent every year, they said.
The PWD Minister said the department would take around 7,000 km length road under the control of the local self-government institutions for one-time repair at an estimated outlay of Rs.718 crore besides Rs.236 crore earmarked for renewal of local body roads, including Rs.140 crore for the Other District Roads (ODRs).
The department was also taking up construction of roads at a cost of Rs.130 crore under the flood relief programmes.
The repair work was being taken up categorising roads as very good, good, satisfactory, bad and very bad. On an average, 78 per cent of potholes had been filled up as on January 5, he said.
Mr. Vijayakumar said the work for revising the PWD manual and code were in the final stages and that steps were afoot for conducting social audit in the department.
Assistant Engineers were being asked to prepare status reports on roads under their jurisdiction and submit these to local MLAs and heads of local bodies with copies to the higher officers and the Minister. Appropriate measures would be taken on the basis of these reports. Social audit would be introduced at the district level as well, he said.
The PWD Secretary said the department would publish the names and other details of persons who were likely to be displaced on account of National Highway development projects.
The government had already published details regarding encroachments into the National Highways, he said.