Contracts for World Bank road project to be performance based

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Chandigarh, Mar 20 (UNI) The Punjab Government has decided to implement the 'performance based contract system' while awarding construction contracts for the 600 Km road network in Phase-2 of the World Bank funded Punjab State Road Sector Project.

Speaking at the concluding function of the seminar on 'Road Asset Management' at the CII here today, Punjab PWD Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa said that in a growing economy like India there is a need to adopt scientific methods to manage road assets. He said that road asset management must involve management of assets covering use, operation, maintenance and development through continuous supervision and maintenance of existing road network, he added.

The minister regretted that expensive assets like roads were not being managed properly due to lack of scientific knowledge. He said that the public authorities responsible for incredibly expensive and vital assets of the state, must embark upon a plan to build a road asset management system.

The Minister revealed that the replacement cost of the Punjab road network was pegged at more than Rs 250 billion by conservative estimates and the state must measure the outcome of this asset by proper asset portfolio.

Mr Dhindsa said that the main criterion was to maintain a definite level of service keeping the road user in mind. The options, the Minister said should be exercised in such a way that maintenance levels and the improvements were carried out with ultimate aim of maintaining the assets for that period.

The Minister said that road asset management of a network was a continuous process and even after the expiry of the contract period, the network should return to the client with pre-agreed residual value of the assets.

The PWD Minister said that road maintaining agencies should treat these assets in the same manner as private companies treated their business assets and liabilities and report to government in a corporate accounting format.

He said that time has come for road agencies to transform themselves. They needed to start implementing performance based contracts for the construction, maintenance and upkeep of the roads.

UNI HS VN1835

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