Governor Lalong flags off ‘operation zero pothole’
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has flagged off “Operation Zero Potholes” to address deplorable state of roads within Jos the State capital and Bukuru metropolis at the cost of N1.1 billion.
Speaking during the flag-off of the exercise in Jos, the governor said his administration intends to sustain this and ensure that it goes around the major townships in the 17 Local Government Areas of the State.
“We cannot afford to let these road infrastructure decay to the point that they become a burden and threat to the lives of our people.
Henceforth, we will make sure we arrest any road deterioration early in order to sustain the lifespan of our roads and other infrastructure”
He added that the state government will henceforth not tolerate the culture of neglect and abuse of public infrastructure which has contributed to the level of wear and tear the state is experiencing.
He expressed dismay at the flagrant misuse and abuse of the critical infrastructure through the illegal erection of road bumps adding that government also noticed the use of the roadway for mixing concrete, dumping of construction materials and most worrisome, trading along the major roads.
According to him, the unfortunate abuses were prevalent on Ahmadu Bello Way, Terminus, Bauchi road, Kabong, Farin Gada, Kugiya in Bukuru to mention a few adding that no responsible Government will sit and watch the lawless behaviour.
Governor Lalong, therefore, directed with immediate effect, the constitution of a high-powered Special Task Force that will rid roads of street traders, illegal road bumps, illegal motor parks as well as check indiscriminate parking of cars and trucks within the roadways.
The governor further warned that any road user that knocks down a street light, as well as vandals should be arrested and be made to pay the full cost of replacing it among other penalties the courts will hand down.
He called on members of the public to report to the relevant authorities, anyone who knocks down or attempts to vandalise the street lights so as to guard the collective assets and promised that the state government will utilize the little resources judiciously to get value for money.
In his address, the State Commissioner for Works, Mr Pam Botmang who said the rehabilitation of roads and filling of potholes will gulp N1.1 billion pleaded with motorists and other road users to corporate with those that would carry out the exercise.
The commissioner who strongly condemned erection of bumps and speed breakers along major roads within the state capital said the ministry will soon embark on the removal of such illegal bumps.