Our Bureau

Mangalore, Feb. 23

THE Union Government has taken initiatives to set up a national institute for highway engineers, according to the Union Minister of State for Surface Transport and Highways, Mr K.H. Muniappa.

Inaugurating `Incident 2005', an inter-collegiate festival, at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK) at Surathkal near here, Mr Muniappa said that the national institute for highway engineers would be located at Noida near Delhi.

"The institute will train our engineers in world standard highway engineering technologies, and in design, construction and maintenance of highways," he said.

Later in an informal chat with newspersons, the Minister said the aim of the Government is to have world-class roads. The Indian Road Congress, which was concluded at Bangalore recently, has recommended that the uniformity be maintained in the quality of roads. It has also suggested that all the national highways be in a position to take on vehicles with a speed of 120 km per hour.

The Government is planning to come out with a policy on roads based on the recommendations of the Indian Road Congress, he said.

The Government has decided to use new technologies for road construction as the geographical conditions differ in the country. These technologies use polymer-modified bitumen, crumb rubber and plastic-mixed bitumen for road construction.

The Ministry, which has taken up north-south and east-west highway corridor development, has decided to connect all the ports in the country to the national highways. The Ministry is in favour of public-private participation model to carry out this mammoth task, Mr Muniappa said.

The first phase of Golden Quadrilateral project will be completed this year, he added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 24, 2005)
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