The Telegraph
Saturday , July 20 , 2013
 
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Green light to road policy

Chief minister Nitish Kumar has cleared the Bihar Road Assets Maintenance Policy aimed to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of the roads.

Secretary, road construction, Pratyaya Amrit told The Telegraph on Friday that Nitish gave his nod to the policy last week. Bids for maintenance would be invited next month and contractors would be awarded work for five years.

Amrit said: “The chief minister has given the go-ahead to implement the Bihar Road Assets Maintenance Policy. We gave the chief minister a PowerPoint presentation and he expressed happiness with the policy and its rules. Another presentation will be given in a day or two.

“The rules should ensure that the physical condition of the roads, under the contract, meets the requirement and is adequate for travellers,” he added.

For effective implementation, the maintenance work to be assigned to the contractors has been divided into initial rectification, ordinary maintenance, periodic maintenance, minor improvement and emergency repair.

In initial rectification, contractors would survey roads with their engineers and identify potholes, cracks, ruts and roughness of the road. Ordinary maintenance would deal with removing obstructions, including cardboards, old tyres, paper, wood, garbage or anything with physical dimension of more than 300mm, on the road. Amrit said: “Any visible obstruction on the roads, which might prove hazardous to those using the road would have to be removed. Carcasses should be removed within 24 hours too.”

“Periodic maintenance would entail applying a second layer on the road after some time, while minor improvement would deal with widening certain accident-prone junctions. Emergency work would involve the repair of roads damaged in the monsoon or because of floods. The work will have to start within 24 hours,” said Amrit.

The policy also has provisions for sub-contracting under which local contractors would be eligible to get up to 50 per cent of the work awarded.

Night inspections would also be carried out to ensure the roads are safe and the signboards are clearly visible.