Of work interrupted
Let everyone do his work
ER. MIR GHULAM RASOOL
The write up “Ganz Nass” by M. Ashraf (GK, August 1, 2012) is a sad reflection of our insensitivity towards fast deteriorating environment in the valley during the last 40 years. Engineers as such could not escape the adverse influence of insensitivity and bad governance.
There used to be a standing procedure regarding submission of monthly safety certificate of bridges and culverts on every road under traffic and road accident reports giving reasons for such accidents as to adequacy of road width, condition of road surface, driver’s negligence, and the same had to be submitted to traffic authorities. These were used as evidence in courts as well. Similarly by middle of March every year efforts were put in to restore winter damages to road surfaces particularly on main city roads, Boulevard leading to Mughal gardens and main district roads besides National Highway. The repairs had to be completed by 10 April before Baisakhi festival. The task was mainly completed through maintenance gangs of PWD. We used to have severe winters and snow clearance was done by manual labour ensuring least damage to road surface whether metalled or black topped.
To quote an instance, the then Chief Engineer Roads and Buildings while traveling towards Baramulla experienced a jerk while crossing Singhpora Bridge. This was taken serious note of, and on reaching Baramulla he dictated a harsh worded note to his subordinate engineer in-charge. The Engineer in charge of the National Highway received the note on the same evening. Following day he left on his own at dawn, ensured repairs of the road surface and returned to his office. The Chief Engineer on his way back stopped at the spot and observed repairs having been conducted. He appreciated the prompt action by his subordinate but called for his detailed explanation regarding the neglect on his part.
During Governors’ rule in 1986, Mr. Jagmohan on his way to Srinagar airport observed some bitumen boils on road surface and he flashed a message to his technical advisor to inspect and asked for an explanation from the concerned engineer. I was holding charge of the district and road was falling under my jurisdiction. I explained to the advisor that during patch-work repair of roads by maintenance gangs sometimes excess bitumen is used which causes boils. He was not satisfied, but I produced a document giving reasons. Meanwhile the excess bitumen was removed, surface sanded and the governor on his return stopped at site to enquire if action was taken. Still he called a meeting with his advisor to know reasons for such condition of surface repairs.
You cannot set things right unless there is a sense of responsibility at all levels, including at the political level. One of the reasons for slackness is that there are too many officers, besides ministers calling for meetings and reports thereby leaving the technical personnel with little time to devote to their professional tasks. Technical branches should be governed by technical authorities alone to establish a sound rapport and answerability. The field officers should be allowed to utilize their energy in their respective domains with minimum participation in frequent review meets. This will make them more useful and answerable to their respective heads of departments.
(Er. Mir Ghulam Rasool can be contacted at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Wed, 8 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 8 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 9 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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