The Newz Radar
CHAMBA: After videos of poor road metalling went viral on social media, Bharmour BJP MLA Dr Janak Raj took it upon himself to check the irregularities in laying of bitumen. Dr Janak Raj paid a surprise visit to a metalling site on the Banni-Tarela road in his constituency in Himachal Pradesh’s Chamba district to check the quality of the work.
In a purported video, the MLA can be seen stopping two trucks carrying cold bitumen and standing atop one of the vehicles. He then calls up the PWD Executive Engineer concerned to complain about the alleged irregularities.
The contractor is said to have brought bitumen from 100 km away to be used on the road. Though it’s supposed to be used burning hot for the longevity of any newly metalled road, the bitumen turned cold and useless by the time it reached Tarela. The road laid with cold bitumen doesn’t last even a few days. Videos have gone viral showing people uprooting bitumen of newly metalled roads with bare hands.
The quality of bitumen was exposed when the MLA stood on a truck full of bitumen. “Standing easily on bitumen, which is supposed to be burning hot if a road is to be constructed properly, is evidence enough to show the irregularity being done in laying bitumen,” said the MLA, who first scolded the contractor concerned for the “shoddy” work and then called up the Executive Engineer. After that, he ordered a thorough investigation of the work.
The MLA sent back two trucks full of bitumen from the spot and told the contractor and the department employees present on the spot that such shoddy work would not be allowed to happen. “A complaint will also be made to the Chief Minister. If I had not investigated the bitumen work, then probably the irregularities in this work would not have been exposed,” Dr Janak Raj said, adding such shoddy work would not be tolerated in tribal areas. “There are certain standards for bitumen deposition. The bitumen should be dumped according to the same standards,” he said.