NEW DELHI: Government highway engineers will now be held responsible for failure to make the National Highway network pothole-free with the Centre setting the timeline to get NHs rid of potholes by the year-end. Each project director must visit all roads at least once in every 15 days and take steps to fix any maintenance issue.

For this, the entire 1.46 lakh km of NH network will be covered under some kind of a perpetual maintenance contract, meaning that maintenance can be undertaken whenever there is a requirement rather than going for floating fresh tenders. In 2021, potholes caused 3,625 road accidents claiming 1,481 lives and leaving 3,064 injured. Potholes on highways also impact the speed of vehicles.

On Thursday, union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari said the new strategy will deal with the issue of rains causing damage to highways and his ministry will involve engineering students in this who can help detect potholes, lack of maintenance and defects in the drainage system.

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