CM reviews status of road projects

ITANAGAR, 25 May: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday convened a review meeting on the status of the road projects being executed by the state highways, public works, rural works, and urban development departments.

Emphasising on “quality and timely completion of all under-progress road projects,” Khandu urged the engineers, especially the chief engineers, of all zones and divisions to check the practice of compiling detailed project reports (DPR) “with exuberant budget estimates.”

He pointed out that “most of the DPRs prepared by departmental engineers always tend to be on the higher side of actual cost of the project.

“Yes we need roads and other developmental projects. But we must always consider the financial capabilities of the state government while preparing DPRs. I have seen DPRs of bridges of smaller proportions costing more than those executed by agencies like the BRO of much bigger proportions. The chief engineers concerned should review and revise such exuberant DPRs before submitting them to the government,” he advised.

He suggested that relevant technology of road construction, “as per the geographical and topographical conditions of the place,” must be adopted to maintain quality and longevity of the project and check cost escalation during construction.

Khandu also advised the secretaries and the chief engineers to “physically visit the work-in-progress sites once a month,” saying that “this will not only keep the pace of work in tune and ensure quality, but also boost the morale of junior level officers and staff working on the ground.”

He also asked them to keep a check on allegations or complaints of corruption involving their officers, and insisted on “zero tolerance” towards any kind of corrupt practices.

Discussing the maintenance and revamping of the existing roads under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive State Road Development Plan, Khandu suggested to the PWD to “complete all the ongoing projects before entertaining new proposals within this financial year.”

He assured that the requisite fund for this would be made available by the state government.

Reviewing the status of the PMGSY roads being executed by the RWD, Khandu said that the department “needs to concentrate more on East Kameng, Kurung Kumey, Kra Daadi and Upper Subansiri districts, as the data presented shows that most of the unconnected villages fall in these districts.”

The officers of the highways department informed that, as the Trans-Arunachal Highway is near completion, the focus now is on the Frontier Highway and the inter-connectivity corridor projects, which were recently approved by the Centre.

The Frontier Highway is proposed to begin from Bomdila in West Kameng district and end at Vijaynagar in Changlang, covering a distance of 1,748 kms. Parts of this highway will be executed by the NHIDCL and the BRO, besides the state PWD.

On the other hand, the union road, transport & highways ministry has identified six inter-connectivity corridors to connect NH 52 (now NH 15) in Assam with the Trans-Arunachal Highway (NH 13) and the proposed Frontier Highway (NH 913).

The review meeting was attended by, among others, RWD Minister Honchun Ngandam and top officials of the PWD, the highways department, the RWD, and the UD department. (CM’s PR Cell)