SRINAGAR: The state government on Monday threatened to cancel licences of the hot mix plants that “fail to participate” in the ongoing road macadamisation drive owing to the change in norms.
An official handout issued here said the owners of the plants were given “stern warning” by the Minister for R&B Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari.
“Only half of the registered hot mix plant holders are participating in the tendering process in view of the new quality standards adopted by the department. The department will issue licenses to unemployed youth to setup hot mix plants to ensure macadamisation of most roads,” he said after “extensive deliberations” with contractors and officers of R&B Department over the issue.
The government has started a drive for macadamisation of the mostly-dilapidated roads in the state, with changed standards for blacktopping.
Under the new regulation, the agencies are required to ensure approved thickness of the macadam laid on the roads. Also, they have to guarantee longevity of the macadamised roads.
The ongoing repair work on several roads in this summer capital of the state has resulted in increased movement of trucks in the urban areas during the otherwise restricted hours.
The minister said the government has instructed the concerned authorities to allow trucks carrying macadam to ply round the clock.
“In view of the limited working season, especially for macadamisation, the endeavour of the government is to cover maximum road length during the limited working season available in Kashmir,” he said.
Urging people to cooperate with the agencies carrying out macadamisation work in their respective areas, Bukhari assured “adequate protection” to contractors engaged in the work.
The law and order machinery, he said, has been asked to provide “adequate safety cover” to the contractors and workers.
Expressing satisfaction over the quality of the ongoing work, the minister said the need “is to maintain it at all levels”.
He said the payment against macadamisation works will be made by the end of this year. He stated that efforts are on to settle all previous claims of the contractors.
“About 50 per cent of due payments will be released by the end of this month. Instructions to this effect stand already communicated to the concerned officers,” he said.
Earlier, the minister reviewed problems of the contractors at a meeting attended, among others, by the Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation Syed Basharat Bukhari, MLA Baramulla Javed Hassan Baig, Commissioner Secretary R&B, and the hot mix plant owners of Kashmir.