Public Works Minister Thakur Gulab Singh stated that the State has suffered loss worth over Rs 350 crore during the current rainy season to the roads and bridges due to the inclement rainy season this year.
Minister disclosed it in the meeting with the Senior Officers of the department. Thakur Gulab Singh said that total loss to the State Highways, Major Roads in the State has been estimated at over Rs 280 crore. Besides, the losses caused to the National Highways in the State had been estimated over Rs 56 crore, he added. He said that besides this there had been losses worth crores of Rupees to rural roads in the State. He said that the State Government has released an amount of Rs. 56 crore as immediate relief for carrying out restoration and repair works.
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 the department has procured bitumen worth Rs 51.94 crore for proper tarring and patchwork of the roads. He said that 66,727 bitumen drums were available with the Department for completion of this work. He said that the Bitumen has been distributed to all the Public Works Divisions in the State. He said that concrete roads must be constructed in water logged and slushy portion so that commuters does not face inconvenience. He said that ensuring quality while tarring and patch works on the roads must be ensured at any cost. He said that chemical testing of Bituman would be done in order to ensure longevity of the patch works and tarring.
Public Works Minister directed the officers of the Department to take up the work on the war footing. He said that all the major District and State Roads had been opened and a few roads damaged due to prolonged rains would be opened within the next fifteen days. 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.
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 formalities related to tendering have been completed during the rainy season and now the work of repair would be taken on war footing.
J.C Sharma, Secretary, PWD assured the Minister that the Department would be ensured quality in the tarring and patch work being undertaken be the Department. 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.
Pradeep Chauhan, Engineer-in-Chief and Director Project, A.K.Sharma, Chief Engineer South, V.K.Sharma, Chief Engineer Quality Control, Sonam Negi, Chief Engineer, National Highways, M.K. Minhas, Superintendent Engineer Works and other senior officers of the Department attended the meeting.