Shimla: In a review meeting of Public Works Department (PWD) here today, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh stressed the need of adopting new innovative technologies in roads and buildings constructions in changing scenario.

Virbhadra Singh advised Officers of PWD to upgrade their skills and attend trainings, seminars besides visiting construction sites to know new things in the field of construction. He said that it should be ensured that projects should complete within stipulated time to check cost escalation and quality control should also be maintained simultaneously. He said that projects which are nearing completion should be given top priority.

He directed the PWD Officers to explore the possibility of construction of a bye pass at Chhota Shimla Secretariat. He also directed the officers to expedite the taking over of Wangtu-Powari Road from Border Road Organisation (BRO). He expressed satisfaction over the progress of last review meeting and said that work on Khamadi, Kashapaat, Tarkali, Keo Kefni, Nahan Dharali, Mehandli, Tikkar, Baggi Roads were expedited.

Chief Minister revealed that Rs. 816.15 crore would be spent on roads, bridges and buildings during current fiscal year out of which Rs. 761.95 crore would be spent on roads and bridges. He said that under maintenance plan and non plan outlay of Rs. 410.27 crore had been made for current financial year out of which Rs. 27.26 crore would be spent on daily wages. He said that PWD has deposit work of Rs. 1155 crore for 2551 works of major six line departments out of which 1292 works have been completed by spending Rs. 867 crore.

Virbhadra Singh said that five new National Highways have been declared by MoRD, in March 2014 which include Manali to Sarchu (Leh) and Samdhu to Gramphu which are with BRO and Purana Matour to Mecleodganj, Chakki to Bharmour, Amb to Mubarakpur having total length of 632.265 kms.

Chief Minister said that there were 33491 roads in Himachal Pradesh which includes 1553 kms National Highways, 1504 kms State Highways, 2139 Major District Roads, 27575 kms Rural Roads and 720 kms Roads were with Border Road Organisation (BRO). He said that 20893 kms of roads were metalled and tarred while cross drainage have been provided on 26392 kms. He informed that there were 1876 bridges and 10019 villages have been connected out of total 17882. He said that metalling and tarring on 1112 kms would be done during this fiscal besides 62 bridges would be constructed.

Virbhadra Singh revealed that the Government of India (GoI) has sanctioned Rs. 2787.73 crore out of which the State has received Rs. 1922.80 crore of which Rs. 1867.36 crore have been spent under Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY). He said that project proposals for 77 road works and 23 bridges amounting to Rs. 246 crore have been sent to GoI for sanction in November 2013 and Empowered Committee, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India had approved the above proposal in February this year. He said that 1722 roads having length of 10188 kms have been completed and 3131 habitations were provided with road connectivity under PMGSY.

Chief Minister said that working programme for 100 days starting from 1st June 2014 have been prepared under which new Detailed Projects Reports (DPRs) worth Rs. 100 crore would be prepared to provide roads to un- connected habitants and providing metalling and tarring on already constructed Katcha roads under PMGSY. He said that 30 roads under PMGSY besides 100 kms length of road would be completed during this period.

Virbhadra Singh said that to minimize arbitration cases and contract litigations workshop for Shimla and Hamirpur Zone was organised in May 2014 and similar workshop would be organised at Mandi for Kangra and Mandi Zone. He said that Video Conferencing facilities would be provided at Zonal level soon. He said that 10 per cent of total length of tarring in stage-II constriction under PMGSY will be done with cold bitumen. He said that Civil Hospital at Sunni was under construction by using pre fabricated technology on a pilot basis which would be completed with in four months by spending Rs. six crore.

Virbhadra Singh said that Rs. 213 crore have been spent under NABARD during last fiscal. He said that Rs. 92.70 crore have been spent under Central Road Fund (CRF) upto October last year. He said that Rs. 1180.24 crore have been spent under World Bank assistance till date.

Chief Minister said that 75 per cent up-gradation work of Mehapur-Una-Amb Road has been completed by spending Rs.104.26 crore while Barsar-Jahu Road would be completed this month itself by spending Rs.113.75 crore. He said that 95 per cent work of Jahu-Kalkhar Road has been completed which would accomplished next month. He said that instructions have been given to the contractor to complete Theog-Kotkahi-Rohroo Road within stipulated time frame. He said that up gradation of this road would be done on about 232 kms and Rs. 683.53 crore would be spent on it. He said that Jahu-Ghumarwin, Sarkaghat-Jahu, and Draman-Sinhuta Roads were in progress while Ranital-Kotla, Kumarhatti-Sarahan-Nahan and Bhawarna-Lambagaon Roads have been completed.

Principal Secretary, PWD Narinder Chauhan, detailed out the various activities being carried out by the PWD Department and assured the Chief Minister that all the on going projects would be completed well in time and stress would be given on quality control.

Chief Secretary P. Mitra, Additional Chief Secretary V.C. Pharka, Advisor to Chief Minister T.G. Negi, Special Secretary PWD Dr. Amandeep Garg, Engineer in Chief Naresh Sharma and senior officers of PWD were present on the occasion.