PWD Minister V K Ebrahim Kunju has come out against the lapses on the part of officials in the construction and maintenance of roads in the state. Inaugurating the 50th annual conference of the PWD Graduate Engineers Association in Kochi on Saturday, the Minister warned that officials responsible for the pathetic condition of roads would have to face penal action.
“Novel techniques are being implemented in the construction of PWD roads in the state. If these roads are filled with potholes currently, it is the responsibility of the PWD Engineers to find out the reason behind the damage. The state government is spending a lot of money for the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges. Also, the department now has facilities to trace erring contractors. Hence, it is to be doubted whether the inefficiency of the engineers is the reason behind the bad roads”, Ebrahim Kunju said.
Existing rivalries between the officials is yet another reason why many of the decisions taken by the department are not fully implemented. The minister warned of dire consequences for the engineers who fail to implement the decisions taken by the department for the better development of the roads. “Roads built using plastic have been successfully constructed at Thiruvananthapuram as well as Kochi. However, the engineers have failed to follow up on such methods, which is a major waste. As per the new norms roads which are being constructed should contain 20 per cent plastic. Those engineers which fail to use these methods will also be pulled up, the minister added.
Ebrahim Kunju said that not all the reports that appear in the media on the bad conditions of the roads are true. “There are truths in these reports but most of the blame is falling on the PWD, which is not true since most of the damage is not on PWD roads”, he said. He also called upon the department engineers to ensure that there are no lapses in the construction of the roads by contractors. However, those who do a good job should be encouraged too.