The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) today said it will provide technical assistance to government for development of national highways in mountainous regions like Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
"JICA has signed a technical cooperation agreement with the government for 'capacity development project on highways in mountainous regions', it said in a statement.
The project will provide for strengthening of institutional capacity of organisations engaged in development of road network in mountain terrains, such as Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), NHA, NHIDCL and state-level PWDs.
The road ministry has assigned high priority to the development of national highways in the mountainous regions to enhance local connectivity, especially in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and the North-East region.
"MoRTH is keen to adopt new technologies related to tunnels, bridges and slope stabilisation and enhance its capacities for disaster-resistant planning, cost-effective construction technologies and safety management in mountainous highways," the statement said.
Under the JICA's cooperation, technical guidelines will be prepared for design, development and management of road network in mountainous regions, including for tunnels, high-pier bridges, earthworks, slope protection and waterways for the drainage.
JICA will dispatch experts from Japan on highway engineering and management, and conduct technical training programmes for Indian engineers and technical personnel, in partnership with the Indian Academy of Highway Engineers, to enhance capacity of government in planning, construction and management of highways in mountainous regions.
The Agency has been continuously cooperating with MoRTH and other road agencies in their human resource development and improvement and construction of highways since early 1990s when JICA started dispatch of Japanese experts to those organisations, it said.
The newly-started technical cooperation represents JICA's attempts to further its cooperation in the transport sector, which would play a pivotal role for economic and social development in India.