Road construction industry urged to go green and adopt sustanability & safety standards

Indian Construction companies and agencies have been asked to adopt environment friendly and safe construction technologies to develop sustainable roads, highways and infrastructure in the country.

“India’s growing & vibrant Infrastructure programme has resulted in an impressive build-up of the highway sector. Increased infrastructure spending and funding for road construction have led to a significant growth in the number of highway construction projects in India. The safety of road users, workers as well as environment protection are a matter of concern during construction activities worldwide” said Mr Yadhuvir Singh Malik, , Secretary Ministry of Road Transport And highways (MoRTH) while inaugurating a Two day seminar on of “Environmental Protection and Safety during Construction” organised by India chapter of Geneva based International Road Federation (IRF), a global body working for better and safer roads world wide here today.

“For a massive programme of modernising the highway system, consistent protection of environment and safety systems during the phases of execution, operation and maintenance, is a formidable challenge for associated professionals at all levels. The safe and efficient flow of traffic through work zones is a major concern to transport officials, industry, the public, businesses, and commercial motor carriers” said Mr Malik.

“During intial stages of construction of roads and highways in the country including at time of operation Detailed Project Report (DPR)the engineering and other fauilts should be detected and removed so that we do not faceproblem of black spots and their removal at later stage. At present out of 700 black spots identified on National highways about 100 are on staright roads with no curve , it is difficult to understand the black spots at these places. constructing safe roads at early stages without engineering defects will also remove the hassle of road safety audits to be conducted every year “said Mr Malik.

“Poor road signages and lack of warnings on major roads and highways as well as before the start of 135 Km long , Kundli-Ghaziabad -Palwal or Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) result in accidents or the road to be taken is missed. Ministry of Road and Highways advised for puuting up signages few km before the EPE start on both sides so that vehicles do use the EPE , but signages have put in such a way that most of vehicles miss the EPE and land up in Delhi. Government has allowed speed of 120 Km per houron this highway “said Mr Malik .

“The Two day Seminar with relevant sub-themes would dwell on the aspects of Design for Safety, Environmental Protection of Construction Projects, Technology, Safety during Construction and Safety Issues & Risks. “The objective of the Seminar is to facilitate exchange of information on various aspects of the chosen Themes – Design for Safety, Environmental Protection of Construction Projects, Technology , Safety during Construction , Safety Issues & Risk” said Mr K K Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation, (IRF) while speaking on the occasion.

“The seminar will also focus on environment protection and safety for high speed corridors like the National highways which inter-alia will cover workers safety on highways, Safety risks on construction projects using analytic network process framework for change in safety culture in India, Effectiveness of high-visibility personal protective equipment for night-time highway operations, Traffic management during construction of highways identification and management of blind spots during construction signages & apparel during construction of highways Highway workers safety – Policies, Practices and Legal Issues minimizing air/sand/noise pollution at construction sites Identification and evaluation of contaminated land sites, Implications of unsatisfactory drainage strategies for minimising waste during construction.” Said Mr Kapila.

The participating experts at the Seminar will take stock of the initiatives in the respective areas in the country in the past few years. This exercise acquires greater significance as the growth and vibrancy of India’s infrastructure programme is what inures India from global recessionary trends. The investment in infrastructure by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan for the transport and road sector alone was 35% and has been estimated at around Rs.38 lakh crore. This has resulted in an impressive build-up of the sector, which is expected to further accelerate in the years ahead” said Mr Kapila.

About 150 eminent delegates representing all major stakeholders of the Road sector, viz, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, National Highways Authority of India, State Departments of Transport, State Public Works Departments, State Road Corporations, Civil Engineering Contractors, Concessionaires, Consultants, Suppliers, Municipalities, Road Agencies/Authorities, Procurement Managers, Road and Bridge Builders and Maintenance Personnel, Road Building and Road Maintenance Companies, Road Safety Suppliers and Specialists , ITS and Communications Companies, and Environment Experts are taking part in the Two Day seminar.