Patna, Sept. 24: The cabinet today sanctioned Rs 2,579.17 crore for maintenance of highways and major district roads for the next five years.
“According to long-term output and performance-based road assets maintenance contract, the highways and district roads would be maintained for five years by the private contractor. Total 9,064.31km of roads would be maintained under the new scheme and the contract for carrying out maintenance work would be awarded by the end of October,” cabinet co-ordination department secretary Brajesh Mehrotra said.
The maintenance scheme would cover 2,438km of state highways and 6,626km of district roads for five years. The plan would include maintenance, initial rectification, periodical maintenance, minor improvement and emergency work. According to the scheme, Rs 601 crore would be spent in the current fiscal (2013-14), while Rs 637 crore would be used in 2014-15. In 2015-16, Rs 534 crore would be spent, while Rs 476 crore would be utilised in 2016-17. The plan entails using Rs 290 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 37 crore in 2018-19. On February 12, 2013, the cabinet had cleared the Bihar Road Assets Maintenance Policy, 2013. The policy would allow a shift from the existing input-based maintenance system to the output-based system.
At present, in case of damage to road, estimates are made following which, tenders are floated and works awarded. This takes around six months.
Also, the estimates are made on the basis of the extent of damage assessed at a particular point of time. By the time actual repair starts, there remains every possibility that the damage has aggravated.
Under the new policy, maintenance work would be awarded for different stretches of roads for five years and the contractor would be responsible for repairing the damage within the stipulated time. The selection of contractors would be done on the basis of competitive bidding for a period of five, seven or nine years.
The cabinet also approved the health department’s proposal to create 617 posts of dental doctors. The appointments would help the government in appointing dental doctor in primary health centres and Sadar hospitals.
There would be 488 posts of dental doctors, 73 posts of junior staff surgeons (dental), 55 posts of staff surgeons (dental) and one joint director of dental services.
The cabinet also increased the ex-gratia amount from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to be paid to the next of the kin of those killed in terror attacks, communal or caste clashes, poll violence and others.
The cabinet also gave a nod to Rs 5 crore for payment of ex-gratia to the next of the kin of those killed and injured persons in non-natural disasters. The funds would be utilised in the current fiscal of 2013-14 from the Bihar contingency fund.