TS roads lead to decentralisation

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HYDERABAD: The government said it would decentralise the roads and buildings department, responsible for building and maintaining around 25,000 km of roads and a large number of bridges and government buildings, to enable it to meet the increasing demand for infrastructure.

The state Cabinet took this major decision at a nearly five-hour meeting that was chaired by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao at the Pragati Bhavan on Saturday. The Cabinet also approved giving independent decision-making powers to the department, and placed Rs 129 crore at the disposal of personnel which they could spend on infrastructure without seeking prior approval from senior officials.

 The Cabinet was expected to announce the dates for the Assembly session; it is learnt that the schedule can be expected in a couple of days.

The Cabinet took note of the increasing activity in agriculture as well as in other sectors, that are placing additional demands on the road network and approved decisions already taken by the Chief Minister to strengthen the department along with an infusion of manpower, and placing requisite funds at the disposal of officials for faster response when it comes to taking up works.

Telangana, according to the R&B department website, has 24,245 km of road length with 3,152 km of state highways, 12,079 km of major district roads, and 9,014 kms of other district roads. Sixteen national highways pass through the state covering a length of 2,690 km, of which 868 km are with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

The department says that it is responsible for construction and maintenance of government buildings totalling some 54.50 lakh square feet area including offices and residential buildings.

According to a release from the Chief Minister’s Office, the Cabinet also approved the setting up of additional offices for the department and approved release of requisite funds.

The Cabinet approved 472 additional posts that include 3 chief engineers, 12 superintending engineers, 13 executive engineers, 102 deputy executive engineers, 163 assistant executive engineers, along with positions in accounts, technical, and non-technical divisions of the department. The recruitment process for these is expected to be rolled out soon.

The Cabinet okayed sanction of Rs 165 crore for periodic renewals of roads and another Rs 635 crore for improving public transport in the event of roads getting cut off and washed away due to natural calamities such as rains, and floods.

In the BC welfare department, the Cabinet okayed 2,591 posts in the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule BC welfare residential educational institutions and directed that the new appointments should be made in teaching and non-teaching staff of the newly started four Junior Colleges, 15 degree colleges and 33 residential schools this academic year.

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