Utility ducts mandatory for new NH corridors

: Provision of utility ducts, preferably “as close” to the extreme edge of the Right of Way (RoW), has been made mandatory by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in the construction of National Highways with four and six lanes.

Utility services will have to be laid in utility ducts as per the November 22 policy guidelines issued by MoRTH for accommodation of public and industrial utility services along and across NH, official sources told The Hindu . The guidelines communicated to the State Chief Secretary says the aim is to leverage land within RoW for laying utility services.

In stretches where there are no utility ducts, the utility services will have to be located beyond the toe line of the embankment and drains, as close to the extreme edge of RoW as possible.

The stake-holders have been asked to ensure that there is no interference with the drainage of the “road land” and maintenance of the NH. Towards this, the top of the utility services shall be at least 0.6 metre below the ground level.

As per the guidelines, no utility service can be laid over existing culverts and bridges except through the utility ducts where such provision exists. In absence of such provisions, the licensee shall make his own arrangement for crossing of cross drainage structure and rivers below the bed.


In cases where ROW is restricted, the utility services can be beneath the carriageway. But the utility services will have to be laid in concrete ducts that has to designed to carry traffic on top. The width of the duct shall not be less than one lane.

The utility services will be permitted to cross the NH either through structure or conduits. The casing/conduit pipe should extend from “drain to drain in cuts and toe of slope to toe of slope in the fills” and designed as per Indian Road Congress. The existing drainage structures cannot carry the lines across.

The casing/conduit pipe can be installed under the road embankment either by boring or digging a trench. The sides of the trench should be done as nearly vertical as possible.

When utilities are allowed overhead, the horizontal and vertical clearance in accordance with the IRC has to be maintained.

The safety clearances is needed for submitting application online to Highway administration. The application has to be put out in the public domain for 30 days for seeking claims and objections, official sources said.

The initial permission will be for five years. The utilities have been divided into public utilities (electricity, gas, water supply, telecom cables and sewage disposal) and industrial utilities. The license fee for public utilities shall be 33 per cent of the fee prescribed for industrial utilities.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 10:10:35 AM |

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