MONSOON MAYHEM LEAVES STATE ROADS...
MONSOON MAYHEM LEAVES STATE ROADS IN A PITIABLE CONDITION
Chandigarh August 25:
The recent floods in the state damaged 10.34 per cent of roads in the state. This means that 6,032 kilometres out of a total of 58,000 kilometres of road network in Punjab has been damaged, necessitating expenditure of Rs 111 crore for repairs.
Sources said the PWD and B&R Department has submitted a report to the Chief Minister’s office on Saturday that 2,179.11 kilometres of planned roads and state highway category roads have been damaged. A total of 214 roads have been damaged and the department has sent an estimate of Rs 40.54 crore for repairs.
Also, 3,618 kilometres of link roads (966 roads) have been damaged, which need Rs 62 crore for repair. Around 186 kilometres of 28 roads constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sarak Yojna (PMGSY) scheme have also been damaged and the estimate for their repair is Rs 4 crore. The reason that these roads were not affected much is that their construction specifications are more stringent than the other roads. Besides, these are constructed on a raised platform, said sources.
Not only the other roads, some 79 km of national highways (five highways) were also damaged and the government will have to spend some Rs 4.63 crore for their repairs. The worst-affected areas where roads have been badly damaged are Sultanpur Lodhi, Shakot, Dharamkot, Zira, Jalalabad and Anandpur Sahib sub-divisions in Jalandhar, Ropar, Kapurthala, Moga and Ferozepur districts.
Sources said even the roads in major cities of the state, including Jalandhar, Amritsar, Bathinda and other places, have been damaged. Some allege that the roads have been damaged due to inadequate or sub-standard material used in road construction.
Confirming that much of the road network had been damaged, Kulbir Singh, Secretary, PWD and B&R, Punjab, said, “The report in this regard has been sent to the CMO for Central assistance, as Rs 111 crore will be needed for the repairs.’’
Sources said some 103 government buildings across the state have also been damaged in the heavy rains. Most of these are primary schools, as either the roofs of classrooms or walls have collapsed and in some places the flooring has given way.
The department has estimated that around Rs 5 crore will be needed for their repairs. An officer pointed out that this kind of damage has not happened since 1988, when the damage due to floods was much higher.