Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has directed the officers of the Public Works Department to ensure prompt and quality repair and maintenance of all roads damaged due to excessive rains and landslides during this rainy season. He was presiding over the review meeting regarding repair, maintenance and restoration of rain damages on national highways, here today.The Chief Minister said that steps should be taken to stabilize slopes by adopting new technology such as rock bolting etc. He said that the executing agencies should ensure that adequate men and machinery were deployed at landslides prone areas so that road could be cleared at the earliest in case of any landslip. He said that the priority of the Government was to ensure porthole free and better roads so that commuters did not face any inconvenience while travelling.Jai Ram Thakur directed to take immediate steps to remove loose soil and boulders from national highways to ensure smooth flow of vehicular traffic. He said that long term strategy should be framed to ensure that heavy rains causes minimum damages to the roads by ensuring proper drainage and cross drainage facility. He said that retaining walls, breast walls and pavements should be built by maintaining high quality standards so that they could withstand in difficult conditions.He asked the officers to ensure filling up of portholes and emergent repair of national highways and action taken report be submitted to his office within ten days. He said that the DPRs should also have maintenance clause so that effective maintenance and repair of roads could be ensured in future.Jai Ram Thakur while expressing displeasure over the slow pace of work on Kiratpur-Manali fourlane said that this road was major lifeline for tourism in the State. He directed the executing agencies to expedite work on this fourlane and also ensure permanent restoration work by carrying out construction of gabion walls and culverts to drain out the executive water of the catchment areas.
While reviewing the progress related to new national highways approved by the Government of India, it was informed in the meeting that out of 70 new national highways, letter of acceptance for preparation of DPRs regarding 58 national highways with total length of over 3650 kilometers has been issued.The Chief Minister said that executing agencies of all the major four laning road projects of the State should ensure effective and better quality of the roads. They should also ensure that commuters and tourists face minimum inconvenience due to construction of these roads.Additional Chief Secretary, PWD Manisha Nanda handed over three Awards conferred upon the State under different categories by the Ministry of Rural Development for best performance under PMGSY during 2017-18 by Union Government at New Delhi recently to the Chief Minister.Smt. Nanda informed that as many as 923 roads were damaged due to landslides out of which 915 roads had been opened for vehicular traffic. Additional Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and Head of Quality Control Cell Sanjay Kundu informed that the Cell had undertaken tour of four districts of the State viz. Bilaspur, Mandi, Kangra and Hamirpur to take the stock of the quality of roads and bridges.Additional Chief Secretary cum Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Dr. Shrikant Baldi, Engineers in Chief PWD R.P. Verma and Ashok Kumar Chauhan, representatives of National Highways Authority of India, senior officers of the PWD Department were present in the meeting among others.