Public works department in the State of Travancore (which later formed the major part of Kerala State following the reorganisation of states in 1956) made its beginning in the year 1823 with the formation of the Maramath Department as a branch of the Huzur Cutchery (Government Secretariat) with an executive branch known as the Panivakai Maramath.The Administration Report of the department for the year 1873-74 states that "the new roads of which very nearly 1000 miles have been either completely opened or are in various stages of progress have tapped an enormous tract of the country hitherto almost inacessible, giving fresh impetus to agriculture". [To view the details of functioning of the Public Works Department as described in the Travancore State Manual click here]
The PWD Code was introduced in 1901. The department was periodically reorganised and in 1935-36, the administrative staff under the Chief Engineer consisted of 7 Executive Engineers in charge of divisions, 8 Assistant Engineers and 8 Sub-Engineers in charge of sub-divisions and Supervisors and Overseers in charge of sections. Over the years the department has grown substantially and now has 5 Chief Engineers, 20 Superintending Engineers, 76 Executive Engineers, 289 Assistant Executive Engineers, 639 Assistant Engineers and other supporting staff. The length of roads under the department at present is 23314 km. All major arterial roads which provide mobility are with the PWD, consisting of:
||National Highways||1542 kms|
||State Highways||4655 kms|
||Major District Roads||17117 kms|
The department is responsible for:
The Minister (Works) is in charge of the Kerala Public Works Department. The Secretary to Government heads the department at the Secretariat. A major concept in PWD's organisational framework is based upon managing the programme delivery by separate wings, headed by Chief Engineers. The wings are established to reflect the need to manage by a combination of direct ownership and agent agreements. The programme delivery wings are:
The operational units of each wing are geographically distributed and tiered by Circles, under which are the Divisions that generally correspond to the districts of Kerala, Sub-Divisions and Sections. All programme delivery activities such as design, construction, operations and maintenance are delegated to the wings.
The Kerala State Transport Project is headed by Chief Engineer (Projects). Major design of bridges, buildings & project preparation are provided by a separate wing (DRIQ Board) headed by Chief Engineer (Operations). Each programme delivery wing reports to a Chief Engineer thus ensuring that the appropriate approvals and resources are obtained. The department has also an Architecture wing headed by a Chief Architect.
The following organisations are functioning under the Department.
Organisational set up at district level :
The Roads & Bridges wing and the Building & Local Works wing of the department have three circles each to supervise the execution of works at divisional level. Both the wings have one division at district level. The Buildings wing has also a Judicial circle exclusively for the supervision of construction works in Judicial sector. There is a Superintending Engineer for Electrical and an Executive Engineer for Electronics for advicing the related matters to the Chief Engineer Buildings Wing. The National Highway wing has three circles and eight divisions.
The execution of works is supervised and completed through the Executive Engineer. The construction works of roads, bridges, buildings, repairs, renovation and maintenance work thereof is looked after by each division under its territorial jurisdiction.
Under each division there will be three or four subdivisions to undertake actual execution of work.