GUWAHATI, Nov 21 � In view of the recurring large-scale damage caused to the State�s roads, the Assam government has moved the Centre with a plea to bear a part of the maintenance costs through adoption of an Assam-specific road policy.
A vast road network involving 2,200 roads was damaged in this year�s floods in Assam. This includes a number of newly-laid roads. The Assam government�s stand is that the recurring menace of flood and erosion apart, the geo-climatic peculiarities, such as a prolonged rainy season, also hinders road maintenance.
Addressing media-persons, State PWD Minister Ajanta Neog today said an Assam-specific road policy was an urgent need to tide over the mounting challenge of keeping the State�s vast road network in proper shape.
�We will ask the Centre to adopt an Assam-specific road policy so that maintenance and effective and timely repair do not amount to a big problem. The need for such a policy is warranted by the State�s peculiar geophysical and climatic conditions, such as floods, erosion, other natural calamities, and a lengthy monsoon,� she said, adding that unlike Assam other States in the country do not have to face much problem concerning maintenance and repair of roads.
�There have been instances when our roads suffered extensive damage within less than six months of laying or repair because of floods. This year�s floods have damaged 2,200 roads in the State. Maintenance and repair is rendered a tough proposition here by such recurring calamities. Things can ease if the Centre agrees on an Assam-specific road policy,� she said.
The minister also said the State had not received any fund for construction and repair of roads since the BJP-led NDA government assumed charge at the Centre.
The minister also revealed that this year the flash floods of Guwahati had caused severe damages to 50 per cent of the city�s total roads.
Neog also stressed the need for having a dedicated fund with contributions from different sources including corporate houses for effective maintenance of roads. She, however, admitted that a section of her department�s officials and contractors had been responsible for poor road repairing works.
She said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi would inaugurate a new scheme � Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Paki Path Nirman Achani � on December 5.
Under the new scheme the State PWD will construct 254.29 kms blacktopped roads in 126 legislative assembly constituencies in the State at a cost of Rs 194.60 crore.