New Materials and Technology to be used for Road Construction Experimental Stretches to be Part of Original Projects
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Government of India
Ministry of Road Transport & Highways
Experimental Stretches to be Part of Original Projects
The promoter of these new materials shall be required to bear the extra cost involved in the proposal. Being the experimental projects, failure if any, of the trial reach, would not be treated as the responsibility of the Implementing and Executing Agencies.
This endeavor of the Ministry would result in saving of our scarce natural resources like stone aggregates, bitumen etc. This may also result in saving in life cycle cost of road construction as compared to road construction using conventional materials. The use of latest equipments would also result in saving in construction period.
Road construction materials and technology has seen lot of improvements world over. Many new materials, techniques and equipments have been used in other countries successfully but the same needs to be tested under Indian conditions, traffic, rainfall, drainage, soil conditions etc. before being put to use in India.
The Tribune series on what needs to be done to rebuild the state
Tribune News Service
KK Kapila, chairman of the International Road Federation (IRF), a Geneva-based safety organization, believes that it is a real challenging and daunting task to align and build roads on the fragile terrain of the young and still active Himalayas in Uttarakhand in the aftermath of the natural disaster. There is a need to use non-destructive and least invasive techniques to build roads in the state. He is also Co-Chairman of the infrastructure committee of FICCI.
“A quick stopgap approach in rebuilding the infrastructure cannot be a solution. Rather reengineering and building the road infrastructure in a step-by-step method using non-destructive and least invasive techniques is the need of the hour. We have to sieve out the best of our past experiences and adopt the state-of-the-art non-conventional techniques for sustainability and propose the appropriate solutions,” he said.
Kapila added as a first step a detailed subsurface investigation of the affected areas should be carried out. “Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) is an integral and important aspect of subsurface investigations. Although there is a significant school of thought that does not believe in the efficacy of such investigations in the Indian conditions. This is a myth. The NDT actually reduces the cost and time of subsurface characterisation through proper combination of validation with invasive techniques. The best tools in the NDT category for hill roads will be seismic, Electrical Resistivity (ER) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). The GPR is very useful in subsoil investigations and offers concrete characterisation of different layers, besides pavement structure integrity,” he opined.
Kapila said it was imperative that the road agencies do not undermine the efficacy of good, extensive and thorough geotechnical investigations in the hill terrain before hitting the design board on any new alignment or widening of existing roads through newer techniques.
He added while planning and designing the rehabilitation of the affected roads, it needs to be remembered that the outer and lesser Himalayas comprised of unstable strata owing to the young folded mountains and these sections of the Himalayas comprised of very weak to weakly cemented sedimentary rocks that lacked inherent strength.
“Consequently, cutting of slopes in such ranges and strata, regardless of extreme precautions and environment-friendly techniques that are least invasive, does not guarantee adequate protection to the road foundation or the slopes,” he added. Kapial said blasting, which is used as the fastest and an economical method of road construction, should be avoided.
“In the recent projects for four-laning and six-laning of roads undertaken by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the hill cutting and widening works had been done using a combination of excavators, road headers and breakers. These minimise the extent of damage to the hill slopes and strata and in combination with remedial measures such as shotcreting with wire mesh and rock bolting, use of rock fall nets, concrete cladding, and most important proper diversion of surface runoff through catch drains, chutes and toe drains on berms have provided stability to the slopes,” he said.
He said tunnelling in hill terrain with geologically very weak strata had been successfully tackled through the use of rock cutters, road headers and a combination of drilling and mucking. “The cutting profile is near perfect. The strata are not significantly disturbed and the installation of tunnel support systems have been near perfect. Despite being a slow process and capital intensive, it brings in significant savings on the subsequent operation and maintenance costs once the roads are functional,” he said.
Kapila said ideally the best way to develop roads in hills was through the use of tunnels and connecting viaducts. This minimised disturbance to the existing hill slopes. The construction of linear structure foundations along hill slopes, especially alongside river valleys with perennial streams that become hyperactive during cloudbursts and very heavy precipitation in the catchment areas, which cause heavy damage to the toes of the breast walls and retaining walls of existing roads running along the slopes. “One of the best examples is the Kalka-Shimla Heritage Rail the alignment of which comprises 103 tunnels crossing such geologically weak strata. Despite being over 100 years’ old, this rail line had been closed on rare occasions indicating the robustness of the alignment in penetrating slopes in geologically competent formations and tunneling when such formations are unavailable. However, the economics somehow hinders the development of such costly but far more permanent solutions. Thus, it is time that we adopt alternative technologies for our structures,” he added.
Kapila said another area for adopting alternative technology was the use of emergency bridges like bailey bridges as were immediately required in Uttarakhand. He added modern emergency bridges were costlier but gave the advantage of two-lane traffic and allowing heavier loads that match permanent bridges for national highway requirements. “At about Rs 6 to Rs 7 lakh per metre, including transportation from overseas and construction, these bridges can carry heavier and wider single loads to allow for large construction machinery or equipment and take less space. It is a four-fold advantage at less than twice the cost of a bailey bridge and compares more favourably with a permanent bridge with the huge advantage of a quick launch. This cost will come down further with appropriate excise concessions considering its use in emergencies and lack of alternatives in the country. With local manufacturing in the long run, it will be even more cost effective. A farsighted policy in introducing such bridges is required. The time to take corrective measures post-Uttarakhand is now. It applies to most of our borders. Learning from experience and induction of new technology will pay rich dividends,” he said.
Emergency Bridges are more expensive than conventional bridges. A bailey bridge (single lane, Load Cl 30) for example costs about Rs 3.7 lakh per metre for a 50 metre span bridge. It is more expensive than a normal concrete bridge, which costs about Rs 5 lakh per metre for a two-way bridge built to the National Highway load specifications. The launching speed of a bailey bridge is the advantage i.e. 1-2 days, vis-a-vis 1-2 years for a permanent bridge depending on site conditions.
WHAT TO DO
Dipak Kumar Dash, TNN | Jul 17, 2013, 01.09 AM IST
Publication: The Times Of India Kolkata;
Date: Jul 17, 2013;
Section: Times Nation;
New norms soon for carrying rods, pipes
NewDelhi:The government is likely to amend the Central Motor Vehicle Rules to ban vehicles from carrying rods and pipes protruding up to one metre beyond the body frame.
Sources in the road transport ministry said they were considering whether Section 93 of the Rules could be done away with as such protruding materials were responsible for several accidents and loss of lives.
A senior official said they would soon start consultations to address the issue.
The Supreme Court had on Monday sought the Centre’s response after a PIL said thousands of motorists died every year in accidents caused by trucks parked recklessly on highways, many with iron rods protruding from their body frames.
Section 93 of CMVR, 1989 allows goods vehicles to carry poles or rods or indivisible load “so long as the projecting part or parts do not exceed the distance of one metre beyond the rear most point of the motor vehicle”. However, this is followed mostly in the breach with rods and other material often protruding beyond two metres.
“When the CMVR was finalized, we did not have huge vehicles. That could have been the reason behind having this provision. Now, the situation has changed and we have big vehicles. There is no reason why this section can’t be amended so that we don’t have such a situation on highways. We also need to address how we can deal with the menace on city roads,” a road transport ministry official said.
Truck drivers seldom follow the rule of fixing blinkers at the end point of protruding material to warn vehicles coming from behind. Sometimes, city police teams conduct surprise checks. But there is hardly any regulation on highways to detect such violations, particularly during night.
K K Kapila, president of International Road Federation (IRF), said while rules are made stringent, there is a need to enforce norms. “Patrolling on highways and city roads to check such violations and unsafe practices must be stepped up. Fear of being caught will bring major change,” he added.
The ministry’s road fatalities data for 2011 shows that 10,841 persons were killed in accidents due to protruding load while 33,604 lives were lost in road crashes caused due to overloading. Uttar Pradesh reported the maximum of 3,779 fatalities in protruding cases while it was 1,663 in Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, to check the overloading menace, the road transport ministry has circulated a Cabinet note to give power and incentive to highway developers to catch such vehicles plying on stretches managed by them. According to the proposal, which has been cleared by an inter-ministerial group (IMG), overloaded vehicles would have to pay 10 times the normal toll and that amount would go to the private developer.
For this, the developers would install weigh-in-motion bridges prior to toll plazas so that such vehicles can be stopped. Moreover, the trucks won’t be allowed to move until they offload extra weight at their own cost. “The developers can seek help of local police in such cases,” a ministry official said.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Sanjay K. Singh
Associate Professor of Economics,Indian Institute of Management,Lucknow
Source-URBAN MOBILITY,IRF BULLETIN
More than 240 people get killed every week in India's metropolitan cities(cities with populations of a million or more).There are 34 fatalities per week on the roads of Delhi alone!But,Delhi is not the riskiest city in the country.No less than 16 other metropolitan cities present a higher risk than Delhi.The level of risk in the cities of Uttar Pradesh,the most populous state of India,is more than twice that of the other cities in the country(see Figure).
Why then is the road safety situation so bad in so many cities of India?The main reason appears to be the prevailing imbalance in modal split coupled with inadequate transport infrastructure and its sub-optimal use.Very few cities have an adequate public transport system.People reply primarily on personalised modes such as cars and two-wheelers and para-transit modes such as cars and two-wwheelers and para-transit modes such as auto-rickshaws and tempos.In most of the cities,two-wheelers and cars account for over 90% of the vehicle population,whereas the share of buses is negligible.In general,the road space in cities is grossly insufficient and the problem of traffic accidents is further aggravated by the mixed nature of traffic composition.Experience shows that fatalities tend to be concentrated around roads that are dysfunctional in the sense that they are not fit for carrying such mixed streams of intense fast and slow moving traffic safely.Typical features aggravating injuries and fatalities include traffic volumes and speeds that the roads were simply not designed for,high proportions of young and inexperienced drivers and high levels of non-motorised transport users,such as cyclists and pedestrians,vying for the same road space.
Most of the traffic accidents are attributed to human error.For this reason,road safety initiatives traditionally focus on 'fixing' the driver in order to prevent crashes.While there can be doubt that approaches involving road safety education and enforcement are essential in curtailing traffic accidents,there is an equal and parellel need for more focus on mitigating te outcome of accidents by designing safer vehicles and safer roads.
Roads should be designed in such a way that they are not only self-explaining but also'forgiving'.Accidents are less likely to occur on self-explaining roads and injuries will tend to be fewer and less severe on forgiving roads.A self-explaining road shows road users precisely where they should be at any given moment and guides them on how to procees safely.For example,a simple
cost effective pedestrian refuge(a small raised and protected island)in the middle of the busy road ,where pedestrians can pause before continuing to cross,not only clearly indiacates where to cross,but also makes crossing much easier and safer.
Forgiving roads protect road users in the event of an accident.Road design must recognise that accidents can occur and ensure that injuries and fatalities are minimised.For example,simple engineering features like safely barriers can be used to separate fast moving vehicles from people.Similarly,crash cushions can be used to reduce the consequences of an accident.
While increased mobility is essential for economic development and the relief of poverty,it should not be at the cost of escalating fatality rates among the poorer and most vulnerable sections of society.Appropriate action needs to be taken that simultaneously addresses vehicles,user behaviour and the design of the roads themselves.A key part of the solution lies in accessing the networks of metropolitan cities and identifying those dysfunctional roads on which large numbers of road users are being killed or seriously injured.These roads should then be targeted for safety upgrading through affordable,cost effective measures.