Improving Road Projects Accountability
In a bid to improve the quality of infrastructure in road sector and fix responsibility for proper maintenance of assets, the Administrative Council (AC), which met recently under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, approved the rollout of the 3rd party inspection guidelines in Jammu and Kashmir.
The quality of roads made in our region has been point of debate , with past experiences of roads being repaired with sub standard material a perception and reality. Now with these reforms the things are set to change in a right direction .
In this regard , Farooq Khan and Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisors to the Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, J&K and Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor attended the meeting.
The new guidelines have been framed on the lines of established regulations in respect of the road network created under the PMGSY scheme. Accordingly, a structured control mechanism is being established in the PW(R&B) Department to carry out scientific and periodic independent inspections for all district roads and state highways by undertaking monitoring via in-house departmental engineers and empanelled consultants of National stature.
The quality control mechanism also defines procedures and timelines to properly govern preparation of realistic detailed project reports (DPRs); preparation of bid documents and effective selection process for procurement of works; quality control on material and workmanship through enforcement of technical standard; and quality control requirement by regular testing, close supervision and inspection.
One hopes that roads in Jammu and Kashmir will soon meet global standards and commuting in geographically tough areas of the region becomes a nice experience .The new guidelines make it mandatory to conduct independent quality tests in accordance with the standard codal requirements and verify that the quality management system is achieving its intended objectives. They also prescribe non-release of payments to the contractors until works are inspected and graded satisfactory by the quality monitor.
Further, the Directorate of Design, Inspection & Quality Control which has the mandate for designing and quality control, shall be the Nodal Agency for implementation of Quality Control Mechanism independently under overall supervision of PW(R&B) Department as Quality Control Unit.