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Road transport ministry considers setting up Highway Equipment Development Council

Wants to slash cost of construction and improving quality of road infrastructure in country

Vijay C Roy  |  New Delhi 

Nitin Gadkari

Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways is mulling to set up Highway Equipment Development Council to develop new technologies and equipment in construction sector so as to bring down the cost of construction and improving the quality of road infrastructure in the country.

Comprising of technocrats from the government sector and the private sector, the council will suggest and give nod to the latest technology available worldwide which can be deployed in road construction sector in the country and would also suggest the possibilities of joint venture wherever can be taken up with the foreign partners.

This was announced by Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari acceding to the request of Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association.

The announcement assumes significance as the centre government is pushing the infrastructure sector whereas majority of the road contractors does not have access to latest technology.

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The minister said, ‘”From last one year road and shipping sector have started looking up and our government has already awarded projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore. Further, we have planned to award road projects worth Rs 5 lakh crore in road sector and 1 lakh crore in shipping sector in the next five years. This will generate an employment to at least 50 lakh youth in the country.”

Addressing the manufacturers, Gadkari said , “The Ministry’s target is to expedite the construction of National Highways in India. So, all steps should be taken to develop new technologies and equipment so as to bring down the cost of construction and improving the quality of road infrastructure. The setting up “Highway Equipment Development Council” is a step in this direction and we would announce the council in 8-10 days time.”

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Speaking to Business Standard, Amit Gossain, Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association, said, “We had proposed to the ministry so that the state-of-the-art technology can be brought to India and also the possibility of modification can be explored. The setting up council will not only give fillip to the construction sector but also the manufacturers, as the manufacturers will come forward to have joint venture with their partners to bring latest technology to India.”

Earlier, Gadkari emphasized upon innovation, entrepreneurship and technology in order to develop modern infrastructure. He said that equipment should be manufactured in India itself so that the cost of construction can be reduced as well as the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Make in India’ can also be fulfilled. The joint venture can also be taken up with the foreign partners wherever feasible, he added.

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First Published: Thu, July 09 2015. 17:36 IST