The heavy rains have caused a loss of worth Rs 305 crore to the roads and bridges of the state. PWD Minister Thakur Gulab Singh told it in the meeting with the senior officers of the Public Works Department convened to review the damages caused to the roads in the State due to the prolonged rainy season this year.

Thakur Gulab Singh said that total loss to the State Highways, Major Roads and rural roads in the State has been estimated at Rs 225 crore and the same were expected to increase due to continuous rains. Besides, the losses caused to the National Highways in the State had been estimated around Rs 80 crore, he added.

Public Works Minister said that due to prolonged rainy seasons and continuous rains this year, the maintenance and restoration of roads had suffered in the State. He said that due to continuous rains for the last three months, extensive damage had been caused to roads, bridges, culverts and road crusts etc. He said that restoration work was being daily monitored by the Engineer-in-chief at the State level and at Zonal levels by the Zonal Chief Engineers to ensure that all the roads in the State remain open to facilitate the commuters and the fruit growers.

Public Works Minister said that the Department has taken up the restoration work on war footing by pressing in adequate men and machinery. He said that apart from deploying l137 bulldozers and 199 excavators-cum-loaders of the Department, 245 private JCBs were also hired by the Department. He said that standing instructions have been given to the field officers to deploy sufficient private JCBs for clearing blockages due to landslides so that the people do not face any inconvenience.

He said that it was due to the good work rendered by the engineers of the department that not even a single main road remained closed due to landslides. He said that it was due to the endeavours of the Department that the apple growers of the State were able to transport their produce to the different markets of the country without any hardships, despite the heavy rains. He directed the officers of the department to clear all the debris from the carriageway, clearance of culverts and road-side drainage by 30th of this month.

Thakur Gulab Singh said that action plan has been prepared to carry out restoration and repair work immediately after the rainy season. He said that all the field staff has been asked not to avail any kind of leave. He said that the Department has taken advanced action for procurement of bitumen required for the patch work as well as periodic renewal to be done after the rainy season. He said that 26,629 bitumen drums were available with the Department for completion this work. He said that in case the weather conditions remains favorable, all patchwork would be completed by 15th of November this year. He said that in Emulsion bitumen would be used for repairing roads during the rainy season.

Public Works Minister said that the State Government has released an amount of Rs. 30 crore as immediate relief for carrying out restoration and repair works.

P.L. Chauhan, Spl. Secretary, PWD, M.L. Sharma, Engineer-in-Chief, Sonam, Chief Engineer and other senior officers of the department were present in the meeting.

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