Punjab road commuters in for a smoother ride
THE Punjab government has decided to implement a long-term maintenance contract of roads, to keep all them in proper shape throughout their total life. Under this program 7,200-km road network in Punjab would be covered. Funds for upgradation, strengthening, rehabilitation and renewal coat proposed would be met from budgetary allocation of the department. “The aim is to enable road commuters in Punjab to enjoy a smooth ride,” said PWD (B&R) minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa. Under the scheme, all major district roads, district highways and roads linking various districts would be covered in a phased manner. “This year, we will start from 600 km and from 2008 we will cover 1,200 kms network every year to cover the total state under this scheme,” he added. The budgetary allocation of the department for Rs 200 crore from the road maintenance scheme would enable the project to progress. “Normally, roads are expected to serve for five years with routine maintenance but with this contract, their life is expected to increase to six resulting in saving to public exchequer and simultaneously ensuring increased level of public satisfaction,” the minister said. The contract would also ensure that employees posted on strategic roads at various points would attend to accident victims and informing the police. The contractor would also be responsible for keeping the road clean. Upkeep of road signage, markings, reflectors, furniture and cosmetics would be part of this contract, Mr Dhindsa added