GUWAHATI, May 12: Assam is planning to use the block paving technology to build rural roads to enhance their durability.
State Cabinet Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was recently entrusted with the PWD portfolio, told reporters on Saturday said repairing and construction of 27,000 km roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in the State will be completed by March 31 in 2019. Out of 27,000 km roads there will be 8,000 km new rural roads under the PMGSY, he said, adding that the rest 19,000 km rural roads built during 2005-06 under the same scheme will be repaired.
“We’re planning to use the block paving technology in constructing the rural roads which will result in additional expenditure of Rs 1,200 crore. The State will have to bear the additional expenditure since it is planning to use the new technology in constructing the village roads,” Sarma said, adding that construction all roads in the State, barring minor repairing, will start from September.
Block paving also known as brick paving is a commonly used decorative method of creating a pavement or hardstanding. It has been extensively used in a number of countries for quite sometime as a specialized problem-solving technique for providing pavement in areas where conventional types of construction are less durable due to many operational and environmental constraints.
Sarma, who addressed the mediapersons after holding a high-level meeting with the PWD officials to review the status of execution of various schemes of the department, said there are 1,400 wooden bridges in the State out of which 700 will be converted into concrete ones. He said 263 km of State highways, 200 km village roads and 600 major district roads need black topping. He said the PWD will complete different construction and repairing works of Assam House in New Delhi, Madras and Vellore within the current fiscal.
According to Sarma, the PWD is running short of manpower for which the government will soon appoint 350 contractual engineers. The PWD recently appointed 80 contractual engineers.
Sarma said he, along with a high-level State Government official, will go to Delhi to discuss various national highway issues with the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways next month.