Bangalore: It is always like a great adventure to travel on Indian Roads. As a slogan by famous ad “sometimes we have to make a way (road) in India” to move forward. One of the grievances every person faces in India is the potholes in the roads while travelling. The potholes in Indian roads are so huge that sometimes we may get muscle sprain after a long travel on these bumpy roads. It is so pathetic to note that some ladies have even experienced abortions in their early pregnancies because of frequent travels on the district roads. Travelling from home to office is like a trip to Jurassic park for those pregnant ladies. The situation will be even worse in the rainy season that causes several accidents. Every time when a road is damaged, only patching work is done by the corporation and no step is taken to permanently avoid these potholes from re-appearing. Every citizens of India who has a vehicle has an ardent desire for a “good road” or may be “at least road”.
It seems, these cries have been heard, Public Works Department (PWD) led by senior BJP leader Chandrakant Dada Patil has formulated a plan aspiring to fill up the potholes on state highways and major district roads in Maharashtra by December 15, 2017. The PWD minister is so confident on his plan that he even announced 1000 rupees reward for those who spot a pothole in Maharashtra roads post December 15.
“If someone spots a pothole, we will reward the person with Rs 1,000,” Patil told reporters after holding a review meeting with the officials.
Patil informed that, “We launched the plan to make state highways and major district roads pothole-free in the first week of November. We have set up a special war room in my office at Mantralaya, and we are monitoring work on an hourly basis. We will fill up all potholes before December 15,”
Before launching this pothole-free road plan, an in-depth survey was conducted and Patil has visited around 24 districts to know the condition of the roads and to understand the gravity of the situation. The initial step of this plan was to repair the existing roads with the help of available machines. The PWD officials have already launched a pilot project of Jet Patcher where machines are used for speedy filling of potholes.
Patil has informed the reporters that an expert team of senior engineers will continuously monitor the performance of the staff working in the fields. “Besides information from the department, even people are sending us photographs of potholes. We ensure that these potholes are filled up in a reasonable time, preferably on the same day. We are making maximum use of new technology, as a result, we instantly know once the pothole is filled,” Patil said.
Regarding the allotment of contracts for this project, it will be done at the discretion of the department. Patil has informed that according to the reports from the department, by November 23, around 56% of state highways and 28% of major district roads have been made pothole-free. Maximum roads in Mumbai region (56%) have been made pothole-free, followed by Pune (44%), Nagpur (42%), Nashik (40%), Amravati (32%) and Aurangabad (28%). In terms of km, against road length of 37,558 state highways, 23,418 km have potholes, while 13,221 km have been pothole-free. For major district roads, against the total of 52,431 km, 32,993 km have potholes, while 9,311 km have been made pothole-free.
The roads of Konkan and Marathwada divisions were most damaged due to excess rainfall. It has been reported that some of these areas have received rainfall as high as 152% of the average rainfall. Patil said that the PWD department has a target of 46,000 kms over the next two years in terms of road construction and maintenance.
Hope this kind of project will be formulated all over India, so that the citizens can enjoy a peaceful and safe journey.