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Faster road repair scheme

Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday launched the Bihar Road Assets Maintenance Policy 2013, under which works worth Rs 2,579 crore were awarded for maintenance of 9,064km of stretches under the road construction department.

The work would be outsourced to private contractors for a particular time period through competitive bidding and the agency selected would have to ensure keeping the road in good shape round the year. The existing system used to take a lot of time and sometimes the extent of damage would increase than what it was at the time the estimation.

Nitish said: “Earlier, estimates of damage were made and then tenders were floated to carry out repair. It is now a long-term output and performance-based road assets maintenance contract system.”

Under the policy, contractors have been awarded work to maintain the road for five years. The maintenance work has been divided in five categories — initial rectification, ordinary maintenance, periodic maintenance, minor improvement and emergency work. Under initial rectification, the contractors would have to walk down the road with the engineers and identify potholes, cracks, ruts and roughness.

Ordinary maintenance deals with removing any obstruction from the roads. The periodic maintenance would deal with renewal after a certain time (second layer), whereas minor improvement means broadening certain junction where accidents occur.

In the event of emergency, the required work can be carried out immediately, as the contractors’ equipment and material would be available under the long-term contract.

On when the residents would be able to see the impact of the policy, road construction department secretary Pratyaya Amrit said: “Maintenance work has already started in all districts, including Patna. You will find work going on near Patna zoo and Shri Krishna Singh Marg.”