JAMMU: The Administrative Council (AC), which met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, took note of the Public Works Department’s J&K Macdamizaton (Execution and Quality Control and DLP Enforcement) Manual and J&K PWD Bridge Manual 2022.
Farooq Khan and Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisors to the Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, J&K, and Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor attended the meeting.
The Department has compiled these manuals by incorporating the best practices in the field in accordance with the latest standards and endeavours to bring about uniformity in practices, promote transparency and ensure engineering perfection. To improve the quality of riding surface of J&K’s road network, the J&K Macdamizaton Manual categorizes the road length in the Union territory as Inter-District Roads, Major Roads, District Roads, Rural Roads, Local roads, etc.
The Macdamizaton Manual further establishes a Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) protocol to be strictly adhered to during macadamization works. In case of any breach in quality, the contractor will also be made equally responsible for technical divergences due to negligence or execution of poor-quality works. All Divisions will be mandated to review the performance of every macadamization work post-winter/monsoon season, so as to assess pavement distress and map the same for subsequent prerogatives under the Defect Liability Period (DLP).
The Administrative Council also noted the J&K PWD Bridge Manual 2022 which standardizes the engineering practices in bridge construction to bring uniformity, transparency, and accountability in project execution. Accordingly, the Department will be required to uniformly undertake Project Preparation, Feasibility Study, Preliminary Project Preparation, Detailed Project Preparation, Formwork and Staging, Quality Systems for Road Bridges, Project Scheduling and Monitoring of Works, Bridge Inspection and Maintenance, Bridge Numbering in light of IRC 7:2017, Structural Health Monitoring of Bridges; for proper maintenance the catalogued bridges in the Union territory.
It was also informed that PWD is also following the Standard Operating Procedure for optimal maintenance of roads during snow clearance activities. The SoP lays down the short-term measures to be taken by the PWD in snow clearance operations which include snow clearance with conventional attachments to be provided to all R&B Divisions, Town Area Committees, and Srinagar Municipal Corporation.
For long-term intervention, the SoP requires the Disaster Management Department to procure technically approved machinery as is being used in several developed countries for scientific clearance of snow causing minimal damage to the road surface.
The snow clearance protocol recommends commencement of clearance operations only after 100mm of snowfall by 50mm vehicle blades to avoid damage to the road surface, besides sprinkling of salt over frosted surfaces to improve surface friction.
However, if the road damage after a snowfall is attributed to poor macadamization work rather than snow clearance operation, the contract DLP Clause will be enforced, and contracting agencies will be made responsible to rectify reported damages due to their negligence.
The SoP further allows for the empanelment of private players with appropriate machines for snow clearance operations through incentives like a long-term contract for 10-15 years. The rates for the snow clearance items will be based on an analysis of rates as per MoRTH/ BRO. Besides, the contracting agencies/ unemployed youth will also be incentivized under credit-linked schemes of the Industries & Commerce Department, Labour and Employment Department, and Tourism Department for procurement of suitable machinery under the technical supervision of the Mechanical Engineering Department.
The Administrative Council directed the Department to regularly update the manuals and guidelines and ensure optimal quality and cost efficiency consistent with the mandatory provisions of GFR and e-tendering.