Kashmir Indepth

R&B department plays pivotal role in Covid mitigation efforts

SRINAGAR, JUNE 01: At a time when doctors, paramedics, police and administration are deemed to be the frontline warriors to fight COVID-19, it needs mention that Public Works (Roads & Buildings) Department, Kashmir has played pivotal role in setting up quarantine centres and COVID wellness centre all across Kashmir thereby contributing in its own way to help the efforts of the Government in control and treatment of corona virus in Kashmir.

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Amid lockdown due to COVID-19, Roads and Buildings Department has undertaken works of emergent nature like maintenance and repairs works in hospitals and establishing quarantine centres in double quick time. This has also helped in providing work to local and migrant labourers thereby mitigating their financial crisis.

While giving a detailed account of works being carried out by the department during the present situation, Chief Engineer PW(R&B) Department Kashmir, Sami Arif Yaswi said that ever since the lockdown started on March 24, there has been no looking back for the department in terms of carrying out construction works.

“The department has played an important role in carrying out maintenance and repairs work in hospitals, establishing as many as 20 quarantine centres in Srinagar alone like in Kashmir University, NIT, Indoor Stadium besides in other districts of Kashmir valley,” he said.

He further added that, “partitioning work, creating washroom facilities in these COVID Centres, providing testing booth facilities to all hospitals in Kashmir apart from placing 40 testing booths at airport and in other districts, barricading red zones as per instructions of district administration and ensuring availability of all facilities has been done so far in all public good”.
After second lockdown came into effect on April 15, some relaxations were given by District Disaster Management Authority and SOPs were issued. In accordance with the guidelines and taking all precautionary measures like social distancing and use of masks, the R&B department started works in the construction sector.
“So far 207 works to the tune of 634.19 crore are in progress engaging 1585 labourers comprising of both local as well as migrant workers. The numbers both in case of works and labourers are increasing each passing day. We also have been seeking proper permission from respective Deputy Commissioners prior to starting of works,” Chief Engineer Sami Arif said.
Giving details, he said R&B department has already started restoration of roads, filling of potholes, patchworks and face-lifting of roads especially in Srinagar city adding that, “major macadamization programme is also in offing and will be started very shortly as tenders for it have already been issued”.
Chief Engineer said that since the working season here remains limited, the department is trying hard that the works are completed well in time.
This year the R&B department has set a target of macadamization of 1200 kms under CRF, NABARD, City & Towns and languishing schemes. Under languishing works scheme, a lot of work is being done on bridges, up gradation of roads in the districts.
“Work on major buildings like court buildings, degree colleges and schools has also been started, “All the works are being carried out while maintaining proper quality and as per the laid down SOPs like social distancing norms besides use of masks by labourers at the sites to prevent transmission of virus,” Chief Engineer R&B said.

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