The Bihar government has hired the services of a US firm to conduct quality checks of the roads in the state which has one of the worst road networks in the country.
The firm MSV International, having expertise in bridge and highway construction, has been contracted for two years for Rs 3.59 crore. It will conduct over 40,000 quality checks, Road Construction Minister Nand Kishore Yadav said on Saturday.
The minister flagged off the Mobile Testing Van (MTV) equipped with state-of-the-art gadgets for testing soil, stone chips, bitumen and other material on Thursday.
He said the MSV was fully equipped to submit reports on the quality of roads within 24 hours of collection of the sample. The need for MSV arose due to paucity of experts in the field, he said, adding another van was likely to arrive soon.
Pushkar Malick, Director (projects) of MSV International said the firm already had about 50 projects in hand in India, including some in Nalanda, Jehanabad, Lakhisarai and Arwal districts of Bihar.
Secretary in Department of Road Construction, Rajkumar Singh said that it was probably for the first time in the country that a state government had gone for third party quality check of its highways.
Bihar government has planned to lay 6,000 km of roads over the next couple of years.