SRINAGAR: Checks carried out at macadam plants across J&K on Tuesday have revealed that there is least quality control mechanism in place with no official from the Public Works Department (PWD) being present at these plants to monitor batching and mixing.
Vigilance Organisation Kashmir (VOK) – the group that conducted checks at 19 macadam plants situated in Lasjan Pampore, Khadermuh Pampore, Mirbazar Anantnag, Kunzer Tangmarg and Kupwara– also found different bitumen percentages being adopted by plant holders, ranging from 4.7 percent to 5.5 percent for the aggregates used, which is not in accordance with set standards.
VOK said that it found during these surprise checks that no PWD staffers were on hand at the plants during batching and mixing to maintain proper quality control and adherence to set provisions. In fact, no quality control whatsoever was found during these checks.
A PWD circular issued in May this year called for strict monitoring of quality parameters during the macadamisation programme across the state.
It called for carrying out macadamisation as per standard engineering practices, following the Indian Road Congress guidelines and set codes for laying different types of macadams.
It has also called upon the chief engineers of the Roads and Buildings (R&B) department to depute an assistant engineer to record and certify that consignments meet prescribed quality standards as per set engineering norms and bid conditions before putting them to use.
The government had also asked the owners of hot mix plants, which is where macadam is made, to put the consignments through rigorous tests at the manufacturing stage and to see to it that the prescribed standards are maintained.
VOK, however, found that at some plants a single hopper was operative for aggregate content, and at some plants two-tier or three-tier aggregate inputs were being given to the plant for mixing.
VOK in its statement said that they carried out the checks after inputs of substandard macadamisation, semi dense and wet mix being done by the PWD (R&B) Kashmir.
VOK added that samples have been collected for examination, and that further spot inspection of roads in which macdamisation, wet mix and semi dense are being laid will follow.