‘Newly macadamised roads could not sustain for weeks’


Srinagar, Feb 21: The road macadamisation could not sustain even for weeks after they were laid in Kashmir, thus indicating use of poor quality material in them.
Minister for Public Works Naeem Akhtar recently said the government has macadamized a total of 4,056.25 km road length in 2017-18 till November 2017 including 1,330.02 km in Jammu and 2,726.23 km in Kashmir.
“The government would macadamize a road length of 3,898.12 km in 2018-19 under different schemes,” he said in the assembly.
However, the roads have developed severe cracks and have got damaged during the winter.
“The roads have started developing cracks and could not sustain even for weeks,” sources said. “Check the roads that were macadamised? Most of them have developed potholes and cracks,” sources said.
Several roads that were macadamised for the past over a year have also started developing potholes due to usage of “sub-standard material”.
“Substandard material might have been used that is the reason these roads could not last longer,” official sources said.
Locals also complain that the shabby roads makes problem more complex during rainfall when water gets accumulate in potholes.
They said government had received complaints that several roads have started developing potholes that were executed during the last few years and many were worn-out within weeks.
Sources said that State Vigilance Organisation last year also found that poor quality of material was used in various road works at several places which could just be an iceberg as such complaints are being received across Jammu and Kashmir and could be a big road repairing scam.
There were reports that contractors were violating rules by using unapproved material in several road constructions.
They said senior officials after visiting various parts of the state received complaints from the locals that contractors had used substandard material in construction of road works.
“We have also formed the inspection teams who conduct on spot checking of works. It is prerogative that every road has to be tested to check the quality of road works,” a senior official of VSO, said.
Now, the State Vigilance Organization has been monitoring the macadamisation process handled by the Public Works Department’s Roads and Buildings.
They said the Vigilance sleuths have been making surprise checks of roads.
“Various teams have been constituted to supervise the works under the supervision of SSP Vigilance Kashmir,” the official of the SVO said.
“We visited various spots last year and found sub-standard material was used,” he said.
He said it has been found that different bitumen percentage is being adopted by the plant holders ranging from 4.7 per cent to 5.5 per cent.
He said the senior officials of these departments had not been monitoring these works to maintain the quality of roads. (KNS)