6,260km of Maharashtra highways, district roads damaged in floods; repairs to cost Rs 1,300 crore
The PWD has asked the Centre to provide Rs 680 crore from its Rs 6,813-crore relief package for Maharashtra in order to help fund the road repair work.Updated: Aug 28, 2019 10:31 IST
The recent floods in Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara in western Maharashtra and other parts of the state have damaged 6,260 km of state highways and district roads, and will cost the state public works department (PWD) Rs 1,300 crore — more than its annual budget — to repair them.
In its preliminary assessment, the PWD found the worst road damage had occurred in Kolhapur roads (1,137 km), followed by those in Satara (1,005 km) and Sangli (843 km). In the Konkan region, 1,716 km of roads were damaged in three districts and 1,559 km of roads were damaged in other parts of the state.
The PWD has asked the Centre to provide Rs 680 crore from its Rs 6,813-crore relief package for Maharashtra in order to help fund the road repair work.
PWD officials, however, said the Centre is unlikely to grant this amount and the department’s annual outlay meant for road building and repair work is likely to haywire.
“The annual outlay of the department is Rs 1,200 crore; the estimated cost of repairing damaged roads is Rs 1300 crore. The state will have to bear the remaining cost after central assistance, which means roads in other parts of the state may remain unattended,” said a PWD official on the condition of anonymity.
Taking roads maintained by local bodies in urban and rural areas into account, the PWD estimated that the total length of damaged roads in the state was more than 36,900 km. This is five times more than the usual damage caused by monsoon, according to PWD officials.
“The roads are expected to deteriorate after the monsoon, once the water completely recedes,” said an official from the PWD. Earlier this month, many state highways and district roads in Sangli and Kolhapur were closed for more than five days owing to the inundation, causing difficulty in supplying essential commodities and relief material.
The PWD also started raising heights of several waterlogged bridges in these areas, including the Irwin Bridge at Sangli.
“We will complete the audit of all the 45 bridges affected by the monsoon by November-end and complete work by March next year,” said a PWD official.