The Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam today chaired a meeting of UT level Standing Committee of J&K Rural Roads Development Agency (JKRRDA) to review progress made under the flagship programme, ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana’ (PMGSY).
Administrative Secretary, Public Works (R&B), Chief Engineers (PMGSY), Jammu and Kashmir, Superintendent Engineers and Executive Engineers, among others, participated in the meeting.
While appreciating the progress made so far in the current financial year, the Chief Secretary observed that JKRRDA has registered an unprecedented achievement by completing 1,917 km of rural roads under 234 schemes with financial implication of Rs. 1200 crore, thereby providing safe and secure all-weather connectivity to 93 eligible habitations.
The Chief Secretary maintained that JKRRDA must complete the additional 2,418 km rural roads of 293 schemes which are at various stages of completion by 31st March, 2021, to take up this year’s progress to 4,000 km. These roads will further connect 57 habitations eligible under the scheme at an estimated cost of Rs. 927 crore. “Having attained the technical expertise for fast-tracked project execution, the Department can comfortably target construction of 5,000 km road in rural areas in the upcoming year”, the Chief Secretary added.
He directed setting up of Quality Management Cell and Project Planning Cell within the Public Works Department to promote specialization of workforce, and coordination between various project executing agencies towards the high-quality output.
He directed Principal Secretary to periodically review district-wise progress for timely resolution of bottlenecks and associated challenges. He advised the Department to prioritize works that are free from encumbrances like land acquisition, forest clearance, court cases, and shifting of utilities while simultaneously resolving such issues/grievances in the projects facing delays.
The Department was asked to put in dedicated efforts for the establishment of quality control labs to ensure the construction of high-quality infrastructure, besides undertaking routine inspections of the works with focussed attention on maintenance works.
It was informed that for the next phase of PMGSY, the Department has initiated the process of finalizing its candidate road list which is expected to include 1,877 numbers of roads covering a length of 12,300 km. Further, the Department is also engaging a consultancy bridge expert to monitor the construction of bridges under the programme.
The Committee also reviewed issues related to un-awarded works, forest clearances, raw material supply, quality standards, and e-Marg status.
Currently, the rural road network created under PMGSY in Jammu and Kashmir stretches over 12803.59 km connecting 1,931 habitations through 2,101 schemes with an estimated expenditure of Rs. 7,228.25 crore. Pertinently, J&K figures at rank 3 in the national index.