New Delhi: Road, transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday released a manual laying down guidelines on when and how to expand or manage different types of roads.
Prepared by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and the Central Road Research Institute, the Indo-Highway Capacity manual lays down parameters for capacity augmentation of roads based on a country-wide study of traffic characteristics on different categories of roads such as single lane, two-lane, multi-lane urban roads, inter-urban highways and expressways and the intersections of these roads.
It has been developed based on the unique nature and diversity of traffic on Indian roads. While countries such as the US, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan developed their own highway capacity manuals a long time ago, this is the first time that a manual has been developed in India.
Gadkari expressed hope that the long-awaited manual would help in scientific planning and expansion of road infrastructure in the country. He said India needs to catch up with the best technology and practices being used in the sector so that it can build world class infrastructure that is safe, cost effective and environment friendly.
He said there was an urgent need in the government to give up conservative approach and adopt new technologies to push the pace of highway construction in the country. “Our officials and department lag behind rest of the world when it comes to construction of roads. The speed of highway construction is not as high as it should be," he added.
The manual comes at a time when the government is undertaking an ambitious road network programme called Bharatmala to add 35,000 km of new highways with an outlay of Rs5.35 trillion over the next five years.