Transport Minister wants all asphalt roads in India to be converted into Cement-Concrete

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A concrete surface, as it suggests, is more durable and resistant to wear when compared to Tar roads. But many countries are replacing concrete with asphalt because it is cheaper, despite the former having some major advantages. In contrast, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that all the roads in the country would be converted into cement-concrete to ensure their stability and durability.

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Speaking during an event, he said, “In Mumbai, the cement concrete roads built 20 years ago are still in a good shape. But some political leaders, bureaucrats and contractors do not wish that such roads should be constructed in Mumbai. These people feel that tarred roads should be made and potholes should surface on them from time to time. All the roads in the country would be converted into cement concrete ones. And I guarantee that they will last for 200 years.”

Mr Gadkari’s statement came in the backdrop of recent incidents where the Government has been at the receiving end of a public outcry over the poor quality of roads which develop mine sized craters every time it rains. His proposal might attract some arguments though. As concrete surfaces have a long service life, are relatively environment-friendly, and offer less rolling resistance. But the paving cost is significantly higher and they offer less grip compared to asphalt in slippery conditions.

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The Transport Minister is also confident that the 2017 Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill will be passed by the Rajya Sabha after it sailed through the Lok Sabha last year. The bill aims to bring several reforms in the stone age traffic laws and rules which are mostly not even observed in India. During the event, he also mentioned that the country is short of nearly 2 million drivers and to address that, 2.000 new training centres will be set up shortly.

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We support his thoughts when he sides with drivers of commercial buses and trucks, who have to operate heavy machinery in an environment which is not conducive to spending long hours behind the wheel. He said, “Drivers’ cabins of trucks and buses should be air-conditioned but the manufacturers do not make such vehicles citing the increase in cost. When the temperature rises to 48 degrees Celsius and the drivers operate for 12 hours, this is absolutely essential to increase their capacity.”

With inputs from ET

 

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