State aims to be pothole-free: Andhra R&B Minister prioritises road repairs

The State has a network of roads spanning 53,542 km, including 8,164 km of national highways, 12,653 km of state highways, 27,062 km of district roads, and 5,663 km of rural roads.
BC Janardhan Reddy takes charge as R&B Minister.
BC Janardhan Reddy takes charge as R&B Minister.Photo | Express

VIJAYAWADA: All the damaged roads in the State will be repaired on war footing to achieve his immediate goal of making the State potholes free, said Minister for Roads and Buildings BC Janardhan Reddy, after formally assuming charge at his chambers in the State Secretariat on Wednesday.

Speaking to the mediapersons, he said that during the 2014-19 period, a total of Rs 14,970 crore was allocated in the budget for the R&B department and 80% of those funds were spent on laying roads.

“However, the previous government allocated Rs 19,428 crore, but only spent Rs 9,015 crore, that is 46%, and kept Rs 2,261 crore worth of bills pending,” he said and added that now getting contractors to work will prove difficult.

He further added that the State has a network of roads spanning 53,542 km, including 8,164 km of national highways, 12,653 km of state highways, 27,062 km of district roads, and 5,663 km of rural roads. Out of them, around 45,378 are under the state’s jurisdiction.

“As the required amount of funds was not released to the department, the road repair works could not be taken up. It is a general practice for laying one layer of tar to repair roads once every five years depending on the priority, but with funds not released by the previous government, the length of the roads needed to be repaired is 22,007 km,” the minister said. Further elaborating Janardhan Reddy said 9,080 km length of roads are in sorry state and unmotorable.

“There is an immediate need to repair 8,161 km of district roads, as 3,340 km of state highways and the proposals are with the department. A total of Rs 284 crore worth of proposals for road repairs are before

him and he will study them and take a call,” Janardhan Reddy said.

According to the minister, with financial assistance from the New Development Bank, two projects were sanctioned. “Bank loan was to be 70% of the project cost and the remaining 30% of the cost was to be borne by the government. A total of 13 packages of work commenced and to date, works worth Rs 510 crore have been completed. As the advance payments to the contractors were not done in time, the works are moving at a snail’s pace,” he explained.

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