Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar on Wednesday said rampant corruption in the Public Works Department, faulty design and execution and lack of maintenance are major factors for the poor quality of all type of roads in the State.
Initiating a debate on the demands of the Public Works Department in the House, Mr. Shettar said “percentage business” in allotment of contracts has affected the quality of roads in cities and rural areas. The quality control wing of the PWD issues quality certificates without examining the road quality, he said.
Stating that the department had to rope in experts to develop high quality roads to fuel economic activity, the former Chief Minister told the government to create an additional post of the Chief Engineer exclusively for the Malnad and coastal parts of the State. Now, there were only two chief engineers, one for the southern and another for the northern part of the State.
He urged PWD Minister H.C. Mahadevappa to appoint more staff from the Indian Engineering Service to ensure quality of roads. There was also need to constitute a task force to monitor works, he said.
Generally, engineers cite heavy rainfall as the major reason for the early damage of roads, he said. But the fact was that engineers develop roads based on the allotment of funds and not based on the traffic or load criteria. He urged the government to punish all those engineers who execute poor quality of roads and obtain quality certificates from the quality control wing of the PWD. S. Suresh Kumar, Aravind Bellad (both BJP) and Mr. Shettar demanded that government make provision for service roads along toll roads when they sign contracts on a PPP model.
The former Chief Minister and Janata Dal (S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy blamed the government for poor quality of roads in Bangalore.