Focus should be on improving quality of roads at low cost: Gadkari

New Delhi: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said that the mission of his ministry is to build high-quality roads at low cost.

“The mission of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry is to build high-quality roads at low costs,” Gadkari said via video message at a two-day international conference titled “Pavements and Computational Approaches” organised by Central Road Research Institute (CSIR) in the national capital on Friday.

Furthermore, the Union Minister called upon experts at the conference to be ready to experiment with innovative technology, make all possible use of indigenous raw material including waste material, and promote the pre-cast technology. He also said the thrust of technological innovation should be on reducing cost and time for completion of projects without compromising on quality.

The objective of the conference is to deliberate upon advancements in pavement technology and road infrastructure engineering across the world, with special emphasis to the requirements of developing countries.

On the first day, experts discussed issues related to the design and construction of pavements, material characterisation, computational analysis, and modelling.

Deliberations during the conference are likely to bring out new thoughts on technology up-gradation and its successful implementation in the field.

The ageing infrastructure, road congestion, growth in heavy vehicle traffic, and insufficient maintenance has rendered the road transport inefficient in developing countries. Major challenges to the road network require a clear focus on enhanced pavement design, construction, performance evaluation, management and preservation for developing long-lasting, low-maintenance pavements.

Within this milieu, enhanced and optimised solutions to the current problems have a key role in developing and preserving the road infrastructure. Dedicated research and development efforts are needed in the theme areas such as development of smart materials, innovative design and maintenance technologies, improved data analysis approaches for pavement performance and management, improvements in material behaviour characterisation, use of soft computing tools for analysis and modelling of pavements.

The conference is being attended by nearly 250 delegates including young researchers, entrepreneurs, academicians and field engineers. There will be more than 45 technical presentations by the researchers/ engineers highlighting their work in different themes of the conference.