India: Tapping the IT potential for bringing efficiency, transparency and accountability in the Public Works Department, Mr. Vijayinder Singla PWD Minister Punjab launched the Punjab Roads GIS Portal and Punjab Sarak Sewa (PSS) Mobile App at MGSIPA Auditorium, Chandigarh. He also flagged off a Mobile Testing Van, newly inducted into the Quality Control Laboratory of the Department.
Giving details, Mr. Singla informed that the department with the technical support of NIC has prepared the GIS portal of Punjab roads wherein the details of all the roads as to whether they are State roads, National highways, roads of Mandi Board, link roads, District roads etc is available. Besides the other attributes of the roads like the length, width, crust thickness, year of construction, cost incurred and last repair undertaken would also be available.
This will help the department to spruce up its work as the availability of digital data will expedite planning/implementation. The identification of roads to be repaired or the areas lacking connectivity would be available in an instant to the department. The Punjab Mandi board has already joined in the venture and has added the information pertaining to Mandis in this portal. Similarly, we are expecting other departments to use this portal to update their department specific attributes like schools, hospitals etc so that this Punjab Roads GIS Portal turns out to be Punjab State GIS Portal.
Divulging into further details, PWD Minister informed that connected to this portal is the Punjab Sarak Sewa (PSS) Mobile App. It is an android based app available on Playstore. It is a grievance redressal mechanism started by the department. Anybody can login into the app and thereafter click the photo of the stretch of road that requires repair and upload it. The exact longitude-latitude supported picture will be received and forwarded to the officer concerned for necessary action.
Mr. Singla said that Captain Amarinder Singh led government believes in efficient and transparent working and that is the direction Public Works Department is heading towards. He congratulated Mr. Hussanlal , Secretary PWD and his entire team for the landmark initiative. Later, Mr. Singla flagged off the Mobile Testing Van equipped with latest state –of –art equipment to facilitate the testing of building and construction material in the field, especially in far-flung areas.
The latest machinery equips the department to gauge the strength of the buildings in an absolutely non- destructive manner, without causing any harm to the structure for culling out samples. He vociferously asserted that quality has to be the hallmark of all construction work. He said that there is no use initiating a punitive or a remedial action after the failure of a project; the focus has to be on quality control.
So, the Quality Control Lab of the department has been upgraded and augmented with the latest testing machines and a mobile testing van with a total outlay of Rs. 2.82 crore. This Laboratory is the only approved material testing laboratory in the State of Punjab, informed Mr. Singla and added that it carries out checking/ testing of various construction materials and products, being used in constructions undertaken by Government agencies such as Department of Water resource, Punjab Urban Development Authority, Panchayti Raj, Punjab Health System Corporation, P.S.I.D.C and Local bodies Department.
Besides, the officers of PWD department, the program was attended by Mrs. Vini Mahajan, ACS Housing, Mr. Amit Dhaka, Secretary State Mandi Board and Mr. Vishnu Chandra, Deputy Director General NIC. All the officers appreciated the venture and assured availing the services of Quality Control laboratory in their respective departments, in the larger public interest.