Private role sought in road sector

Road users not happy with progress of PWD work in Karnataka

This was revealed in a road users’ satisfaction survey conducted by Wilbur Smith Associates. In Karnataka, more than 80 per cent of road users felt that private participation was  necessary for the construction and maintenance of roads. They also suggested bringing more transparency in the works undertaken by the PWD, apart from strengthening the department by infusing better technology and funds.

The survey was conducted at the behest of the Karnataka Government to monitor user perception of the road sector and performance of the PWD, which is responsible for road works including maintenance of the National Highways, State Highways and major district roads. The survey revealed that the PWD’s performance was worst when it came to maintaining district roads, while it was better in the maintenance of National and State highways.

The survey was conducted in 27 districts by taking 7,000 samples in three categories –– motorised traffic users, non-motorised traffic users and various associations like taxi owners and chambers of commerce.

Eighty six per cent people believed that the PWD should also focus on maintaining the roads and bridges, instead of just constructing and ignoring it. However, 40 per cent of road users say the department should improve its quality of work including better lane marking and installing road signs. More than 60 per cent feel that the roads are safer to travel. The National Highways are rated as very safe by 35 per cent. 

A significant number of respondents could not really tell or preferred not to comment when asked if there was any change observed in the PWD’s performance. About 12 per cent of respondents indicated that no change is seen in performance of the PWD.

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