Himachal Pradesh PWD did the construction of roads without the provision of black-top.
Three test-checked divisions had executed five projects at a cost of Rs. 7.76 crores without provision of black-top as required under NABARD guidelines depriving the public of all-weather road connectivity.
Non-provision of black-top for construction of roads.
As per guidelines for projects under NABARD, the construction of all-weather roads and black-top (metalled) roads should be proposed in DPRs.
Audit noticed that in three test-checked divisions, five (out of 129) projects were completed (between September 2014 and December 2016) at a cost of Rs. 7.76 crores without black-top as no provision for the same was made in the DPRs. They constructed roads were neither upgraded to metalled roads even after two to four years from the date of their completion nor was there any plan for the same, thus depriving the public of all-weather road connectivity.
NABARD stated (July 2018) that projects were sanctioned as proposed by the State Government. In the exit conference, the ACS stated (December 2018) that the Department was following the practice of constructing Katcha road in the first stage and black-topping in the second stage considering the terrain of the area. However, the practice of two-stage construction was permissible for only PMGSY and State-funded roads, and no such provision was permissible under NABARD guidelines which clearly stipulated that roads had to be all-weather and metalled (black-top). Moreover, the Department had not initiated the second stage of metalling in respect of the above five roads even after two to four years from their completion. This would have resulted in damage to the road surface, higher road maintenance costs, poor ride quality, and higher vehicle operating costs.
Provision for black-top was neither made in the DPR nor had the Department taken any action for metalling of five test-checked roads even after two to four years from their completion which would adversely affect the road surface ride quality and result in higher road maintenance costs and vehicle operating costs.