Thursday, July 15, 2010

Roads to prosperity

All our small and big road projects are in doldrums.They suffer from inactions and delays.None of those in the government can say that he/she does not know how to go about this job.Mr Kamal Nath, present Central minister for Highways was given this job with lot of hope, as he is considered one of those more dynamic ministers.He too is unable to deliver what he promised[ 20KMs of highways per day].During NDA regime, Prime Minster's rural road project was launched to connect ALL our villages with all weather roads.When UPA took over, they lauded this project and promised to take it forward.But very little has happened on this front.

National Highway Authority has been created to expedite High way construction.It should be made accountable to the Parliament and not to any ministry for better results.We have PWD and CPWD since the time of British rule.These departments are responsible for all construction activities undertaken by the Central & State governments.Over the decades, these departments have become slothful, corrupt and incompetent.Time has come to close them down! All employees should be given VRS.What is the alternative? We have Engineers India Limited - EIL, a PSU.EIL should be converted in to a Public Trust of national engineers.It should be granted full autonomy and should be made responsible for all construction projects, including construction of roads.Engineers who were given VRS from PWD/CPWD can be hired by EIL on contract , if found competent.
For maintenance of roads across the country,local co operatives should be formed. These co operatives should be manned by local civil engineers and technicians.Such co operatives should be given contracts for maintenance of select stretches of roads in their areas.

As more and more Indians travel abroad, more and more of them find that most of the countries,small and big or rich and poor have better roads than India.We have failed miserably on this front.Time to scream ! that we deserve better from those whom we elect and from those whom we pay as per sixth or nth pay commission.

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