Gradual shift to concrete roads needed: Delhi CM
Sheila Dikshit, the Chief Minister of Delhi has emphasised the need for gradually switiching over to concrete roads across the cities of India. The Delhi CM was speaking at Seminar on Concrete Road Projects: Focusing on City Roads & Technology, organised by CII jointly with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Govt. of India.
Mrs Dikshit said: “India is beginning to realize the importance of building long-lasting roads. We should begin the process of switching over from bituminous to concrete roads. Even if it takes longer it is worth it.” She invited the industry to join hands with CII and offer a workable solution to build concrete roads in the city of Delhi in a manner that involves minimum disturbance to services. She suggested that participants in the seminar examine whether some of the new colonies in the capital region can be considered first. She also expressed the view that rural roads can readily be made with concrete as they do not interfere with civic utilities.
Delivering the keynote address, Sumit Banerjee, chairman, Cement Industry Division of CII & MD, ACC Ltd said: “The Indian cement and construction industry and equipment manufacturers are willing to play a proactive role to collaborate with State Governments for construction of city concrete roads. We believe it is important that the cities of India take a serious look at the new trends and technological advancements of building concrete roads. ”
The United States of America is often cited as the benchmark for rigid pavements. Concrete roads in USA make up more than half their roads. Dr Mike Ayers of American Concrete Pavement Association, USA State-of-the-art Technology described design considerations used for building concrete Roads in USA.
The Seminar showcased the road construction successes and experiences of select cities in India including Mumbai, Indore and Surat. Issues relating to the adoption of new concrete road-building technology, the role of equipment manufacturers and Government initiatives on city roads were discussed in detail.
Cement concrete roads built in Mumbai, Indore and Surat have been performing exceptionally well in terms of lower maintenance cost and long lasting life. SV Joshi, chief engineer – roads & bridges, Mumbai Municipal Corporation described Mumbai as the pioneer in building concrete roads in India. Of the total road length of 1941 km in Mumbai, as much as 467 km (about one fourth) are concrete roads. Compared to this, cement concrete roads have a share of only 2% of the national road network of 3.5 million km.