SRINAGAR: Union Minister of Road, Transport and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari today inaugurated the 206th Council meeting of Indian Roads Congress in presence of Minister for R&B, Gardens, Parks and Floriculture, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari and Minister of State for R&B and Revenue Sunil Kumar Sharma by lighting the traditional lamp here at SKICC. The Council meeting of IRC has been held after a gap of 19 years in the State.
DG, S N Das, Commissioner Secretary R&B, Rohit Kansal, President, IRC, Mahesh Kumar, Vice President, Anil Kumar, Secretary General of IRC, Secretary Technical (R&B), Bimal Tickoo, Dev. Commissioner Works, Tehsin Mustafa besides senior engineers of R&B department and members of IRC were present on the occasion.
Gadkari appreciated IRC for conducting research works on road, bridge and tunnel projects and emphasized upon IRC functionaries to get these researches implemented on ground across the county. He said until these research works are implemented the work of experts and researchers would be counted useless.
The Union Minister said that road connectivity brings development, adding that thousands of villages are still without this facilities in the country. “If we want to develop the villages we have to give them road connectivity”, he said, adding that such works will also generate more jobs for the locals there.
Emphasizing on completion of projects within the stipulated time frame, the Minister said thousands cost overrun projects are cropping because of wrong policies and asked the audience to apply positive, developmental and fast track decision making approach to check this tendency. He said cost of construction needs to be minimized but cautioned that the quality of work should not be compromised.
Gadkari said that Rs. 100000 crore are being spent on inland water transport across the country. He said State of Jammu and Kashmir can be benefited once the project is implemented here. He said it will also generate employment here. He said the sand excavated by dredging of rivers can be used for other projects also.
Underlining need for skill development, the Minister said that local contractors need to be encouraged and involved in big projects. He said extending advancing facilities to the contractors for purchase of machinery and mobilization cost will yield good results. He said contractors should be sensitized properly about the benefits of completing projects in time before entrusting them any project.
Syed Altaf Bukhari, while speaking on the occasion said that State of Jammu and Kashmir is also a beneficiary of the prescriptions/manuals of IRC and its latest code. He said the state government will be a part of the IRC and its endeavours in setting new standards and specifications in roads, bridges, runways, tunnels and allied infrastructure.
The Minister said that PWD is handling around 32000 km of road length in the varied topography of the State. He said BRO, SAMPARK, BEACON, VIJAYAK and HIMANK are contributing their lot in the State.
Altaf Bukhari said that generous funding of projects by Centre has helped the State in providing road connectivity to unconnected and inaccessible habitations. He said that Central has in principal approved few vital tunnel projects for the state, as revealed by the BRO authorities, adding this will give all weather connectivity to remote and high altitude areas of the State. He said Mughal road connecting Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu province with Shopian district of Kashmir division has attracted lot of traffic between the two backward regions and is emerging as an alternate highway to Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
Syed Altaf said that quality of work has not been given due importance previously, adding that special attention is being given to maintain quality of work at all levels now. He said most of the roads in the State have been damaged in the last years’ floods and engineers are working hard to restore them despite financial constraints.
DG, S.N.Das, Rohit Kansal, Mehash Kumar also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the importance of the role of IRC.
13 research documents were also released on the occasion.
Later. Anil Kumar VP IRC presented vote of thanks.