September 30, 2021 2:07:15 am
After facing flak from commuters over pothole-riddled roads, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday warned that action will be taken against contractors and engineers for poor quality of repair work and not utilising available funds properly.
Thackeray further directed officials to prepare an action plan to construct quality roads by using modern technology.
The CM chaired a meeting on the issue a day after Cabinet members discussed potholes on state and national highways. While Thackeray reviewed potholes in some areas, a presentation was given in the meeting on the condition of roads and ongoing works in Konkan and Marathwada, which is witnessing heavy rainfall.
Thackeray instructed officials to focus on quality of work while filling potholes on the Mumbai-Nashik Highway. He also directed that pending work on the Mumbai-Goa National Highway be expedited. He further asked the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to complete road works that have been stalled for several years.
“The quality of all road works must be ensured and modern technology should be used wherever possible. While giving the highest emphasis on road works, an action plan should be prepared for the same,” Thackeray said at the meeting.
“There will be no shortage of funds. However, if it is observed that the funds are not being utilised properly and emphasis is not being given on the quality of works, then action would be taken against engineers and contractors for dereliction of duty,” he added.
In all, 91,965 km of roads fall under the jurisdiction of state public works department (PWD). While national highway stretches of 9,347 km and 2,825 km fall under the PWD and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), respectively, the NHAI, a body under the Union government, has to look after national highway stretches of 5,577 km in the state.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that due to heavy rainfall, the roads are in a very bad condition. He added that 50 per cent of the budgetary allocation for these roads will be disbursed by the end of October. “All chief engineers of various regions should personally monitor ongoing road works in their areas on a daily basis. In areas with high rainfall, if concrete roads are constructed instead of tar roads, it will help in maintaining quality and pothole-free roads,” he said.
PWD Minister Ashok Chavan said that his department, MSRDC and NHAI should set up a war room in the Mantralaya to review road works across the state.
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