Shimla: Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur directed the State PWD department to fix the deadline of 31st March, 2018 for awarding the consultancy services for preparing the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of the 62 new declared National Highways.

The Chief Minister, in a review meeting of the Public Works department here today, said the DPRs need to be prepared well in time and the work to be started on these National Highways at the earliest.

At present there are 69 National highways of 4400 kilometres length and 62 are with State Government, one with Border Roads Organisation, two with Himachal Pradesh Road and Other Infrastructure Development Corporation (HPRIDC) and three with National Highway and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL). One NH was jointly with government of Himachal and other agency. Thakur said

“I want to see the ground work done and so the people of the state expect the same from the PWD department”

He also asked to expedite the up-gradation and maintenance of existing road projects. The Chief Minister directed the department to prepare a road map for connecting all the left out panchayat headquarters with roads and further plan out to connect those villages and hamlets which were void of road connectivity till date.

Jai Ram Thakur said the department should plan in advance the number of kilometers required to be constructed in a financial year or the bridges to be built and should go for it to achieve the target.

Emphasizing to monitor the work on regular basis to ensure quality work, the CM asked officers to monitor the works regularly and give necessary feedback. He coutioned

“The Government will not compromise on poor quality of work done and the delay or dilly-dallying tactics either by a contractor or anybody down the line in the department. By any means, if the work gets delayed without a valid reason, the concerned officials should be ready to face the action”

The Chief Minister advised to at-least fix a target for the works being implemented and supervise at-least three major ongoing works in a fortnight.

It was disclosed in the meeting that as of now 170 DPRs under NABARD amounting to Rs 634 crore were under process, besides 26 bridges and 16 road projects and improvement of 17 black spot projects of total amounting to Rs 487.21 crore were being sent to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for approval.

Under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) DPRs amounting to Rs 384 crore have been sent to Union Road Transport Ministry for approval.

Chief Secretary Vineet Chawdhry stressed upon speeding up the works, particularly that of the bridges. He said that bridges were taking ample time to get completed and in some cases years, for which the PWD department should give a second thought and need to change its working. He advised the department to cut short the time frame for completion of works without compromising with quality and added that the Government wants to see activity on ground level by April or May this year.

Additional Chief Secretary, PWD Anil Khachi said that the PWD had prepared the vision document 2017 for connecting each hamlet with road. He said that new road policy would be started for improving the quality of road and the time frame would be adhered strictly.

He said that the department had set for itself the principles of Quality, Safety and Value for money (QSV). He said that the existing Road Management and Monitoring System (RMMS) was being upgraded with web-based Road management System (RMS) which would make the entire road and bridge inventory database available on-line. The road survey data collection would be done with modern state of art survey instruments like The Road Measurement Data Acquisition System (RMDAS), data acquisition software. RMDAS system has proven to be success on some of the most challenging road networks around the world. The periodic data collection of roads and bridges will be periodically analyzed in the Head Office and the Highway development Module (HDM-4) which will help in finalizing the actual need based Annual maintenance plans and prioritization of up-gradation of various roads and bridges.