Public Works Minister Thakur Gulab Singh said that government has started a number of pilot projects in the State to construct concrete roads in places where ground water table is high or road passes through slushy reaches and through densely populated area so as to ensure longevity of roads and convenience to the commuters. So far, 9.3 kms concrete roads have been constructed in different parts of the State.
Public Works Minister said that the State Government had taken a decision to construct concrete roads in mushy areas to facilitate commuters besides providing more durable roads. He said that 2.10 kms concrete roads had been constructed in Shimla zone, 6.55 kms in Kangra Zone, 0.45 kms in Hamirpur zone and 0.25 kms in Mandi zone of the State. He said that the construction cost of the concrete road was much higher than bitumen roads as cost of concrete road comes to Rs. 45 lakh per km as compare to Rs. 11-12 lakh per km of bitumen road, but at the same time, the life of concrete road is 3 to 4 times the bitumen road.
Thakur Gulab Singh said that it was difficult to construct concrete road on existing single-lane road which was already opened to traffic, since traffic on concrete road can not be allowed to run over for a month after its construction. He said that 13 concrete roads with total length of 6.62 kms., had been constructed under the Palampur circle.
While appreciating the suggestions of senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar, Public Works Minister said that under the 13th Finance Commission, High Level Monitoring Committee had desired that the roads/infrastructure should be created adopting cement roads approach. He said that Chief Minister was also keen in construction of concrete roads in all the Public Works Circles in the State on pilot basis. He assured that steps have been initiated to construct these roads in all the four zones of the State. He said that the State Government would also take up the matter with the Centre Government to include construction of concrete roads in PMGSY and provide special financial assistance for the same.