Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSME Nitin Gadkari has said that the policy of the government is to ensure reduction in road construction costs and improve its quality. Addressing the two-day Virtual Conference and Exhibition for the Bitumen and Road Construction – ‘BITU-CON 2020’, organized by FICCI today, Gadkari said, the government is working on it but more needs to be done.

The Minister urged the industry to increase the use of plastic and rubber wastes in road construction, which also helps the environment. Apart from this, the use of waste products like oil slags from steel plants and flash should also be encouraged. He suggested use of 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. He said, the government will come up with a pattern design system for precast.

Elaborating on the use of technology, Gadkari asked the industry to adopt world-class technologies in road construction. He called upon the industry to come up with a plan with a 10-year Defect Liability period for constructing bitumen roads, which currently is for 5 years.

Assuring the industry of full support, Gadkari said, the government is open-minded, transparent, time-bound, result-oriented, and committed to quality. He called up the industry to come and cconvince the government, as it is ready to give permissions. He emphasized that if the quality of roads is improve, the share of bitumen roads will increase from gram panchayats to district roads, state highways, and national highways.

Gadkari further stated that despite COVID-19, the government has been constructing roads at a fast pace and is speedily awarding the contracts. He said, the construction speed has not diminished even during this difficult period.

Applauding the pace of road construction, Dr Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI said that despite the challenges faced by COVID-19, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has surpassed its target for the construction of highways in the country.

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