J&K: More than 20 yrs old bridge to have safety audits

Balakot: Pakistan villagers cross a bridge in Balakot, Pakistan. (AP/PTI)

Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Girish Chandra Murmu has asked officials to undertake immediate safety audits and checking of bridges constructed 20 years back and start repairs or retrofits wherever required.

He also asked officials to prepare a maintenance policy of infrastructure being developed by Public Works (Roads and Buildings) department and directed officials to appropriate specific maintenance budget for the assets already created.

The directions were passed by Murmu during a meeting convened here to review the performance of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in the Union Territory, an official spokesman said on Thursday.

Murmu directed immediate safety audit and "100 percent checking" of bridges constructed 20 years back.

During the meeting, the Lt Governor had a detailed assessment of the physical and financial progress of various projects taken under PMGSY across Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

Murmu exhorted upon the officers to create earthquake-resistant infrastructure in the future and directed officials to undertake a periodic inspection of iron or steel bridges.

He also laid special emphasis on the use of hume pipes during the construction of hilly roads to maintain the natural flow of rainwater and prevent any damage to the roads, the spokesman said.

He further asked officers to prepare a district-wise report on achievements made under languishing projects.

Commissioner Secretary, Public Works (R&B) department, Khurshid Ahmad Shah gave a detailed presentation on the cumulative status of PMGSY from Phase 1 to XII.

He said a total of 3,502 schemes with a length of 19700.41 km costing Rs 12,711.88 crore have been approved out of which 1,880 schemes have been completed achieving 11,374.145 km length, connecting 1,838 habitations.

Under the bridges programme, a total of 56 bridges were completed out of the set target of 64 for the year 2019-20, he said. 

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