Of all the infrastructure the most important, probably, is the network of roads that any place has. That is the reason why there is so much of emphasis on better roads, and extensive road connectivity. But in places like Kashmir, owing to weather conditions, there is an extra pressure on the concerned departments in this regard.
And this is about the maintenance of roads. We have often seen that not much time elapses that our roads start having potholes, and the macadamised surface is damaged at multiple places. It all begins with a small patch loosening from the surface.
Since there is none to take notice of this immediately, it keeps on deteriorating and after a few days we have a big pothole waiting to welcome our vehicles.
After some months the entire road patch turns into a nightmare for those who drive on it. This turns out to be a huge burden on exchequer, and also causes immense problems to the commuters. Had there been a consistent vigil, immediate reporting, and quick follow up, we would have saved many roads from deterioration.
Two, there should also have been a timely revisions on how to lay new roads, repair the damaged road surfaces. In fact the material used, the technology employed, and the methods of upkeep should all be reviewed time to time.
In this backdrop it is good news that we have now a new policy that will help timely maintenance of roads and repair of potholes before deterioration of entire road stretches. Sanctioning the proposal of the Public Works (R&B) Department for the adoption of Jammu and Kashmir Road Maintenance Policy, 2020-21, along with the standard operating procedure for maintenance of road network in Jammu and Kashmir, is a step ahead in the right direction.
This policy can lead to scientific maintenance of J&K’s gross road length of 41,600 km. And that is what we require. The policy, as is being told, will provide a guiding framework for establishing objectives, making arrangements and establishing a set of procedures for undertaking maintenance and repair works by PWD. This, and other things that are included in the policy can really prove beneficial if it is applied on ground.