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India

Punjab’s 538 km Road Length Missing But Being Repaired For Rs 81 Crore

This has come to light after a Geographical Interface System software technology GIS was used to ascertain the length of the roads built in Punjab.

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Chandigarh: Hundreds of crores of rupees have been spent on the maintenance of some of the roads which exist only on paper in Punjab. This has come to light after a Geographical Interface System software technology GIS was used to ascertain the length of the roads built in Punjab.

More than 500 km of roads supposedly constructed across the state of Punjab do not exist, it has now been found. Sources said that since the 1970s, funds were regularly earmarked from the state treasury for the maintenance of roads based on the physical record of the length and width of the road.

However, the practice will stop from now onwards, courtesy of the GIS Geographical Interface System software. Sources say the road data book shows that the length of the village link roads in the entire state is 64,878 km. However, the length measured as per the GIS shows that the actual road length is 64,340 km. This is 538 km less than the recorded length of the road and maintained in the state’s physical records.

Punjab’s agriculture and rural development minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal has confirmed that due to GIS technology, the length of rural link roads has come down by more than 500 km. This technology will bring about transparency in the cost of repair of roads and the government’s expenditure too will decrease.

The cost of repair of a road is Rs 15 lakh per km and the repair happens once every six years. Therefore, out of 538 km of missing road links, every year 90 km of road length is due for repair and maintenance. This led to the yearly expense of Rs 13.45 crore per annum for the repair of the 90 km road length.

In the six-year time period though the cost would rise up to six times this amount and approximately Rs 81 crore. Sources, however, say that the funds for the repair and maintenance of these roads which are only on paper have been going around for over two decades now and need a thorough investigation. The issue has been brought to the knowledge of the higher authorities but due to resistance from the Punjab Mandi Board and Public Works Department funds had to be released for their repair.

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