Spot a pothole on the state highways in Maharashtra after December 15 and earn Rs 1,000 in reward, state Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Chandrakant Patil announced today.
“The priority is to repair the existing roads with the help of machines. I have asked the PWD officials to work harder and ensure that there is no pothole on the roads from December 15. If someone spots a pothole, we will reward the person with Rs 1,000,” he told reporters after holding a review meeting with the officials.
Patil said PWD officials have already launched a pilot project of Jet Patcher where machines are used for speedy filling of potholes.
“The roads are damaged more in Konkan and Marathwada divisions, chiefly because of the excess rainfall. There are some areas where the rainfall received is as high as 152 per cent of the average rainfall during the monsoon season. Due to such extraordinary rainfall, the roads are bound to be damaged and hence, people are facing inconvenience,” he said.
The minister said the PWD department had a target of 46,000 kms over the next two years in terms of road construction and maintenance.
“Some (roads) will be repaired, while others will be constructed and expanded. Around 20,000 kms of roads in the state are going to be repaired, including state highways, major district roads and other rural roads. Rural roads have been damaged more by the rains…It’s the biggest network in the state and the quality of construction is not as good as the state highways.
“Of the total project of 46,000 kms, 20,000 kms will be repaired, while 10,000 kms of new roads will be constructed. 16,000 kms of roads will be expanded. However, the expansion work will be undertaken by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI),” the minister said.
Patil said Rs 700 crore have been allocated for the expansion of the Mumbai-Goa National Highway which faced frequent traffic jams.
“The real problem is only at the patch between Panvel and Indapur. The land acquisition process is still stuck in some areas. Hence, it will take some time. There are some work orders issued for another patch between Indapur and Zarap and tenders will be announced soon,” he said.
Commenting on rural roads, which do not directly come under the PWD, the minister said there were 2,56,000 kms of such roads in the state “which are constructed and maintained by zilla parishads. There will be no shortage of funds, but the actual implementation will have to be done by the zilla parishads”.