LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has warned Khadim-e-Punjab Rural Roads Programme contractors of stern action against use of substandard material.

He was speaking at a meeting held to review the project Saturday. He also issued directives to identify new roads to be constructed under the second phase.

The CM directed to constitute a sub-committee for submitting final proposals with regard to axel load. He said that besides construction and rehabilitation, looking after of these roads is vital, therefore, the committee should submit practicable suggestions with regard to resolving problems of overloading on rural roads at the earliest. Shahbaz directed Secretary Forests to take immediate steps for plantation of trees around rural roads and maximum plants should be planted on both sides of these roads.

He said a massive Khadim-e-Punjab Rural Roads Programme is a game changer and rural life will be changed through implementation of this programme and it will provide comforts in travelling to rural people.

He said that under this programme, 12 feet wide carpeted roads are being constructed in rural areas while in addition, two feet wide paved shoulders will also be constructed and all rural roads will be repaired and rehabilitated under a phased-wise programme. He said that with the implementation of this programme, the construction sector will progress, lakhs of new job opportunities will be created and rural economy will strengthen. Shahbaz Sharif directed that under the first phase, the work of construction and rehabilitation of 255 roads should be completed by September 30 and high quality of construction and rehabilitation work should be ensured.

He said that no compromise will be made on the quality of construction and rehabilitation of rural roads. He warned that on the complaint of sub-standard construction material, strict action will be taken.

He said that looking after of rural roads constructed under this programme should be the responsibility of contractors for three years. The Chief Minister directed concerned authorities that availability of material to be used in construction and rehabilitation of roads at reasonable rates and in abundance should be ensured and there should be no complaint in this regard. He said that strict action should be taken against the mafia creating artificial shortage of material and selling it on higher prices.