LGED: Maintenance of rural road network

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Rural roads constitute the majority of roads in the national network in Bangladesh. Due to their large numbers and wide geographical distribution, they create very distinct challenges to their management and operation. It is important to make a clear distinction between maintenance and repair works. Proper maintenance is clearly time linked, and to be efficient is carried out before major damage takes place. Timely and regular maintenance requires securing sufficient funding before repairs and maintenance become an urgent issue.

After construction of around 84,991 km of paved rural road throughout the country, the estimated asset value at current price is about US$7.6 billion; LGED’s paradigm has been shifted from new road construction to maintenance. The challenges before LGED is not only to add up to its paved road stock by constructing more paved roads, but also to the sustainability of the roads so far developed through provision of a sustainable maintenance management system.

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ROAD TYPE

TOTAL LENGTH (Km)

SURFACE TYPE-WISE BREAK-UP
(Km)

Total Paved Length (km)

STRUCTURE (m)

EXISTING GAP (m)

EARTHEN

FLEXIBLE PAVEMENT (BC)

BRICK PAVEMENT (WBM/HBB/BFS)

RIGID PAVEMENT (CC/RCC)

Upazila Road

37,811

7,432

27,419

2,445

515

30,379

3,82,285

95,180

Union Road

44,851

21,698

18,198

4,392

563

23,153

3,12,013

1,20,909

Village Road-A

1,10,744

88,091

14,751

7,306

595

22,652

3,31,409

2,51,830

Village Road-B

1,08,756

99,949

4,664

3,834

309

8,807

1,60,151

2,18,746

TOTAL

3,02,162

2,17,170

65,032

17,977

1,982

84,991

11,85,858

6,86,665

Maintenance of paved roads programme has been running since 1992-93 FY from the government’s revenue budget to repair and maintain “Rural Roads and Culverts”. For proper implementation of “Rural Roads & Culverts” Maintenance Programme, “Rural Roads & Culverts Repairing Programme Implementation Guidelines”, prepared by LGED, is followed.

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Recently Rural Road and Structure Maintenance Policy- January- 2013 was approved

the cabinet meeting on 28th January, 2013 to mitigate human sufferings encountered in the road communication of the country. The policy aims at rapid economic growth in rural areas of the country and promoting good governance in this sector.  The policy explicitly states and means of procuring funds from divergent sources beyond the revenue budget and distribution of duties and responsibilities between LGED and LGIs regarding road maintenance. In addition to that, the policy has opened up new opportunities to manage and maintain rural roads through public –private partnership (PPP).

A major buck of Bangladesh’s extensive road networks is rural in nature, of which 84,600 kilometers are rural roads and   11, 83,440 meters of bridges / culverts have been developed. In order to make these developed rural roads more sustainable and long lasting, this exclusive policy for rural roads maintenance has been framed.

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Under the said policy, the responsibility of maintaining Upazila roads, Union roads and vital pucca rural roads has been assigned to LGED, while that for all earthen and paved  Village roads has been given to LGIs i.e. Zila Parishads, Upazila Parishads and Union Parishads.

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The policy includes opportunities of enhanced allocation of fund from the revenue sector at ever-increasing rates. Apart from this, it includes opportunities for implementation of maintenance, rehabilitation and improvement of geometric standards of roads under different development projects of LGED in those roads where they were badly damaged in the past because of lack of back-log maintenance or affected by uncontrolled movement of heavy vehicles. For the maintenance of Village roads under LGIs, the policy categorically spells out the provision of fund allocation on priority basis from the development budget of LGIs considering the need of the local people and financial capacity of LGIs. The policy also embodies the opportunities for funding by other stakeholders of rural roads such as local transport owners, operators, traders etc.

 

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The policy envisions an improved and safer rural transportation system so that a comfortable, safe, cost effective and time saving transportation in rural roads develops. At the same time, it deems rapid economic growth in rural areas and the good governance in this sector.

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According to the timetable stipulated in the Guideline, the next year’s maintenance need is assessed by conducting Road Condition and Roughness Survey and submitted to the Ministry (from July to December).  As per the allocation in the revenue budget the district-wise budget allocation is delivered to the offices of the District’s Executive Engineer and informing Regional Superintending Engineer at the beginning of the new fiscal year, in the first week of July.

At the beginning of the fiscal year, the Regional Superintending Engineers give approval to Off Pavement and On Pavement Maintenance Schemes.  The Executive Engineers and Upazila Engineers prepare a list of Periodic Maintenance Schemes on the basis of priority, under the supervision of the Regional Superintending Engineer, and begin to prepare the cost estimate.  The Superintending Engineer can approve costs for Periodic Maintenance Schemes up to not more than 15 lakh taka.  The Executive Engineers appoint contractors as per PPR2008.  The quality of works in the implementation process is asserted by direct supervision of the Upazila Engineers. The implementation of schemes has to be completed by 30 June spending 100% of the budget allocation.

Categories of Maintenance Operation

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Maintenance includes all activities needed to keep a road operating throughout its design life. Maintenance activities are commonly categorized in two distinct groups, depend­ing on the location of the actual works. The two most commonly accepted maintenance categories are – Routine Maintenance and Periodic Maintenance.

 

  • § Routine Maintenance – refer to the day-by-day activities that are carried out on a regular, largely repetitive basis. Routine maintenance activities are further categorized as:

 

–    Off-pavement – this category dealing primarily with earthen shoulders, side slopes, roadside tree plantations, structures and surface water drainage, requiring few basic hand-tools and minimal technical expertise. This means that the side slopes, all drains and cross drainage structures are kept in a good condition that permits the free but controlled run-off of water away from the road.

 

–    On-pavement – maintenance activities relate to road surface repairs, restoring drainage, filling potholes and cracks, maintaining edges of pavement on reactive basis. This type of maintenance activities done by Mobile Maintenance Team (MMT) based at district level.

 

  • § Periodic Maintenance – these kinds of maintenance activities usually undertaken at a regular interval of time and it is sub-divided into the following sub-categories:

 

–    Resealing – regular resealing with a thin film of surfacing, about every 3-5 years, to rejuvenate the road surface.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


–       Rehabilitation – means the activities required re-instating the pavement, and road structures to the same condition they were at the time of construction. It essentially includes strengthening activities to restore structural strength and functional performance for continued serviceability.

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  • §  Emergency Maintenance – Under special circumstances (mostly natural disasters), a special type of works undertaken to repair or reconstruction of damaged cross-drainage structures due to floods or over-weight vehicles; repair or reconstruction of damaged road sections due to wash-outs, erosion, or floods; repair or reconstruction of damages to erosion protection, resulting from excessive flows of water or landslides; clearing of landslides, trees from the road carriageway.

 

Culvert Maintenance : After Repair

 

 

 

 

Figure: Completed Road Section by Periodic Maintenance of Road