Blacktopping work starts in Jammu with New Plot-Kot Bhalwal Road
After threat of getting blacklisted by the government, contractors involved in the construction and blacktopping of roads in Jammu have accepted the three-year maintenance guarantee clause to take responsibility for damage due to the use of poor material while executing works.
Earlier, the deficit liability clause was applicable for one year, which has now been changed to three years, which means that the contractors have to repair or reconstruct any newly laid road if its condition deteriorates within first three years.
The Roads and Building (R&B) Department and contractors were on a warpath as the directive was being resisted by the latter. Residents may soon get the respite from bumpy rides on the city roads as today blacktopping of the New Plot-Kot Bhalwal Road started.
“There was much resistance, but contractors have been told in clear terms that no relaxation will be given. The quality has to be maintained as the condition of most of the roads deteriorates within months of being laid,” said a senior official from the R&B Department.
However, a special clause does not make contractors responsible in case of damage due to natural calamity or reasons beyond their control. The government has also changed specification of material to be used in the blacktopping process in urban and rural areas to extend the longevity.
The total road length in the city is 704 km and per kilometre density of vehicles is about 570. Travelling on city roads is a nightmarish experience due to their poor condition.
“In the next few days, the blacktopping process will start across the state and sufficient funds will be released for repair and maintenance. Everyone is cooperating now,” said Public Works Minister Syed Altaf Bukhari.
Since the devastating floods in September, 2014, the R&B Department has not carried out any major repair in the city and only patches were being repaired and potholes could be found everywhere.
For a common man, travel has become a struggle. The dilapidated roads not only damage vehicles, but also put the life of drivers at risk,” said Nikhil Sharma, an engineering student.
Meanwhile, the civic authorities are also seeking funds for creating underground utility ducts to end repeated damages to the roads due to digging by telecom companies to lay communication cables.