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Govt signs MoU with SBI for online permission for digging roads

Delhi has become the first state government to grant online permission for road cutting and digging. In a major step towards digitisation, the Public Works Department (PWD) of Delhi government on Saturday signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with State Bank of India to provide online approval to civic contractors who require to dig roads.

“It is mandatory for all the road cutting agencies to display the Unique ID number, generated through PDM application at the site of digging.  

The application will enable the applicant to log into the website and mark the road which needs to be cut. The length of the road to be cut will be calculated automatically by the system,” said a senior officer of PWD. 

In the new system, a uniform charge of Rs 3,500 per sq meter will be imposed on the road cutting agency for restoration of the road after the services are laid. 

“Various hurdles faced in the implementation of the Plan Dig Monitor (PDM) application were sorted out in the Chief Secretary level meetings held from time to time,” informed the officers. 

Delhi Chief Secretary K K Sharma, PWD Secretary Ashwini Kumar along with the officers of MCDs, DJB, discoms and MTNL were also present. The MoU is actually implementation of a decision of the Delhi Cabinet taken in 2015 for processing all requests for road cutting and digging through an integrated platform. The Chief Secretary has asked Secretary PWD to review the functioning of the system after interval of every 15 days. 

The cutting and digging of roads are done primarily by DJB, discoms, and MTNL for maintenance of old lines or laying out new ones. “Delhi is witnessing large scale infrastructural growth in different sectors like power, water, telecom and many other areas,” added the officer. 

Earlier, the agency that required permission needed to visit multiple offices of different agencies or different road owning agencies, multiple rates adopted by agencies, with no time limit specified for disposal. 

It also leads to monetary loss for the utility agencies as well as the road owning agencies of the GNCTD 
apart from inconvenience to general public as dug up roads and delayed road improvement projects result in accidents, traffic jams and loss of precious man-hours with longer commutation time.
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