SRINAGAR: The Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta chaired a meeting to review the functioning of the Public Works (R&B) Department and take stock of progress made under the flagship programme, ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
The Principal Secretary, Public Works (R&B) Department and the concerned officers of the Department were present in the meeting.
It was informed that presently the Department is maintaining 41,584 km road length across Jammu and Kashmir which includes National Highways, PMGSY, R&B roads and 1343 bridges.
Under PMGSY I & II, sanction was given to 3463 schemes including 241 bridges covering a length of 19,078.34 km to connect 2144 habitations at an estimated cost of Rs. 12,592.46 crore.
It was informed that so far the Department has completed 2400 schemes including 132 bridges, with a length of 15,802.34 km and connected 2026 habitations.
In the current financial year, the Department has completed 272 schemes with a length of 1500 km to connect 69 habitations and will also target completion of additional 880 schemes and 2000 km of road length in the next four months.
The Chief Secretary asked the Department to focus on providing connectivity to all habitations with a population of over 1000 as per the 2011 census through the time-bound implementation of PMGSY and NABARD projects in the road sector by March 2023.
To ensure hassle-free and time-bound shifting of various utilities, the Chief Secretary directed the constitution of a standing committee comprising the Administrative Secretaries and officers of the departments of Jal Shakti, Power Development, and Public Works (R&B). The committee will formulate a mechanism and accordingly draw a road map to ensure the resolution of issues hampering the process of utility shifting.
The Department was also asked to keep a check on the quality standards of new constructions and ensure the creation of high-quality infrastructure, besides undertaking routine inspections with focussed attention on maintenance work. It was further asked to focus on developing proper drainage and camberage for surface water drainage so as to prevent road damage during heavy rainfalls.
Moreover, the Department was asked to prioritize blacktopping of roads towards developing and maintaining pothole-free roads in Jammu and Kashmir. The Department will be macadamizing 8,000 km of road length during 2021-22 during this financial year.
Under the 3rdphase of PMGSY, the PWD department has submitted a proposal identifying 1,750 km of rural roads to be developed in the next financial year.
The Chief Secretary also reviewed issues related to un-awarded works, forest clearances, land acquisition, quality standards, and utility shifting.
Over the years, the Public Works Department has been registering progressive achievements under the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana. The Department has achieved completion of 1500 km of a rural road in the first three quarters of the current financial year which far exceeds the achievement of 1325 km registered in the financial year 2019-20.
The Department completed approximately 1785 km road length (under 89 schemes) in the financial year 2016-17, 1804 km (under 151 schemes) in 2017-18, 1622 km (under 226 schemes) in 2018- 19, 1325 km (under 214 schemes) in 2019-20, 3167 km (under 272 schemes) in 2020-21, and is likely to surpass last year achievement this year.