Patna, Nov. 19: Just laying roads is not good enough. Maintaining their quality is of greater importance. The road construction department in the state has realised it.
In a bid to ensure quality is not compromised, the department has decided to set up modern laboratories in 11 circles — Saharsa, Purnea, Muzaffarpur, Hajipur, Patna, Ara, Gaya, Bhagalpur, Darbhanga, Dehri-on-Sone and Chhapra.
The construction work for these laboratories has begun and four of them are in their final stage. “We have fixed a timeframe to complete the construction work and the majority of them would be available for use before the end of the current fiscal year,” a senior department official told The Telegraph.
Giving reasons for setting up these laboratories, the official said: “The work load of the department has gone up manifold over the past five years. Given the length of the roads that have already been constructed and the ones that would be built in the days to come, there is an urgent need to have effective means to check their quality. The laboratories at the circle level would be of great help on this front.”
As things stand now, there are laboratories at divisional level of the department but most of these are either in bad shape or do not have the latest equipment to test the quality of roads. The work of road-testing in the divisional laboratories is done manually, it takes quite some time to come to a result. Given the volume of work, the time in getting the results is likely to increase in the days to come.
The first step in addressing the problem was taken up two years ago and a decision to upgrade the existing laboratory at the state headquarters, known as training testing and research institute, into a state-of-the-art one was taken. The upgrade was completed last year and since the laboratory proved to be of a great help. With samples of over 100 cases being tested here, defects were found and orders were issued to rework the roads that were of poor quality.
“Setting up the state-level laboratory was just the first step to have an effective mechanism for quality control. Now, we will have modern laboratories at circle-level also. This will help in speedier testing of the samples of roads being constructed in different circles. While the process would reduce the workload on the laboratories, it would equip the field officials with a laboratory at their disposal as well. After checking the samples, action can be taken immediately against those found to be compromising on the quality front,” the official said.
He said funds would be allocated in next financial year (2011-12) to upgrade the divisional labs in all the 60 divisions of the department.