Kerala

PWD alone can’t be blamed for bad roads: Riyas

A day after the High Court criticised officials for the poor condition of roads, Minister for Public Works P. A. Mohamed Riyas said that those who dig up roads should also be responsible for repairing them.

The Minister held other Government agencies, in particular the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) which cut roads for laying water supply pipelines, also accountable for the situation.

“Those who dig up roads should repair them. If the KWA is cutting up roads for water supply needs, they should also be responsible for restoring the roads to their former state,” Mr. Riyas said.

He also added that the PWD maintained only 33,000 km of the 1 lakh-plus km of roads in the State.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Water Resources, Roshy Augustine, took a cautious approach to the issue. He said that the Water Resources Department viewed the PWD Ministe’s remarks seriously. The Mr. Augustine said he also planned to discuss the matter with Mr. Riyas.

That said, the entire episode has served to highlight the continuing lack of coordination among Government agencies and service providers.

In 2019, the KWA had issued a circular to field-level officers to strictly follow guidelines when digging up public roads to work on water supply pipelines.

In January 2020, the PWD and the KWA decided to use the PRICE (project information and cost estimation) software, which is used for preparing project estimates and issuing online approvals, to ensure coordination and speedy disposal of applications.

The State Government had also set up a panel headed by the Secretary, Water Resources, for preparing a roadmap and action plan for the initiative.

More recently, the Local Self-Government Department launched an online platform, Sugama, developed by the Kerala State IT Mission, for speedy processing of road-cutting applications submitted by various service providers.


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 10:23:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/pwd-alone-cant-be-blamed-for-bad-roads-riyas/article37704653.ece

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