Kerala to experiment 7-yr OBPRC system for maintenance of 443.71 km of PWD roads

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government has introduced an Output and Performance-Based Road Contract (OPBRC) system for the maintenance of 443.71 kms of PWD roads going through 10 districts of the State. Under this project, a contract for seven years will be given for the upkeep of roads.

About 15 main roads, including the Main Central (MC) Road, will come under the total project, which is divided into five packages.

An estimate of Rs.285.93 crore has been arrived at for the four packages coming under the project. The estimate of the fifth package is currently being worked out.

The contract is given for stretches other than National Highway portions. Even though the distance between Angamaly and Chengannur is 122.8 km, the contract under the project covers only 86.57 km. It is because of the fact that the rest of the stretch comes under the national highway.

The tendering and the finalisation of contract for the maintenance work for the roads such as Ponkunnam-Thodupuzha, Vattavada-Top Station-Munnar under the second package and Kollam-Ayur under third package has been completed. The tender formalities for the first package that includes the Angamaly-Chengannur stretch of the MC Road has been completed.

As per the contract under the OPBRC system, full tarring work of the road should be done in the first year itself. In the first nine months after the contract came into effect, the preliminary pothole filling work should be undertaken. The drainage cleaning and the cutting of grass and trees on the sides of the roads should be done every year.

Money has been kept apart for undertaking emergency repair work in view of landslides and floods. Special patrolling vehicle unit will be kept ready to face any kind of eventuality.

The advantage of the OPBRC system is that the work of the contractors can be constantly monitored.

Kerala has taken a leaf out of the successful model implemented by the State of Andhra Pradesh with the help of the World Bank. Under this scheme, the maintenance of main roads can be ensured for a longer period, without having worries about entering into a contract every now and then for the maintenance of roads.

Since the contract is based on the basic rates that existed in 2016, the future price rise will not have an adverse impact on the project.

The tendering work is done under the leadership of the KSTP. The layout for the maintenance work was designed by the PWD design wing.

The PWD maintenance wing is supervising the project. A select group of PWD officials undertook training in Andhra Pradesh prior to the execution of the project.


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