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Trying to lower road construction cost, improve quality: Gadkari

The Centre trying to reduce road construction costs and improve construction quality, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said yesterday.

Addressing the two-day 'Virtual Conference and Exhibition for Bitumen and Road Construction' organised by industry body Ficci, he said: "We need to reduce the construction cost and improve quality without compromising on it. We are working on it but more needs to be done."

Gadkari also urged the industry to increase the use of plastic and rubber wastes in road construction, which is also necessary as it helps the environment.

Apart from this, use of waste products like oil slag from steel plants should also be encouraged, he said.

"Industry should also use local produce, like jute or coir, and waste products in road construction, which not only increases the life of the road but also gives a better riding experience. We will come up with a pattern design system for precast," Gadkari said.

Elaborating on the use of technology, the minister asked the industry to adopt 'world-class technologies' in road construction.

Furthermore, he suggested to the industry to come up with a plan for a 10-year 'Defect Liability' period for constructing bitumen roads, which currently is for 5 years.

"If the industry comes up with the world's best technology and 10-year defect liability period, the government will then fully support and ensure that all benefits are given to you (the industry)," he said.

"We are open-minded, transparent, time-bound, result-oriented, and committed to quality. Come and convince us and we are ready to give you permissions."

In addition, he said that despite Covid-19, the government has been constructing roads at 30 km per day and speedily awarding contracts as well.

"Our speed has increased during Covid-19, instead of reducing.".