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Updated: July 15, 2013 10:02 IST

Concrete roads mooted in high rainfall areas

Special Correspondent
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Oscar Fernandes says the government is looking into the possibility of a different approach in laying roads.
The Hindu Oscar Fernandes says the government is looking into the possibility of a different approach in laying roads.

Union Minister to hold talks today on highway development

Union Minister for Transport, Road, and Highways Oscar Fernandes has said that the government is seriously thinking of using reinforced cement concrete (RCC) in highway construction in areas facing heavy rainfall.

Speaking to media persons here on Sunday, Mr. Fernandes said the maintenance of asphalted roads was facing odds on account of the heavy rain which soaked the earth and destroyed the asphalted parts in long stretches.

‘‘We are looking into the possibility of different approach in laying roads and also for using a different technology for maintenance of the roads,’’ he said. The Minister said that it was not possible to maintain the asphalted roads in heavy rains.

The Ministry was looking into the possibility of using RCC in such stretches, Mr. Fernandes said.

The Minister said he would hold discussions with authorities of the Kerala government on Monday on the highway development issues facing the State.

This was part of a nation-wide process he had taken up, which would be completed before the coming Parliament session, he said.

The special challenges faced by highway development in Kerala, on account of the peculiar conditions as a result of the high density of population and the heavy development on the sides of existing roads, would be discussed, he said. Referring to the demand for narrower roads, made by the State authorities, Mr. Fernades said the issue would have to be settled on the basis of scientific studies on traffic and needs of future generations.

Mr. Fernandes said there was no conflict of interests between his Ministry and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) regarding the road development in Uttarakhand. There would be no dearth of funds for the BRO to take up the restoration of roads. Mr. Fernandes said priority would be to restore the roads and re-establish the links.

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