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IRC looks for alternatives to cement, steel in road construction to reduce cost | India News

NEW DELHI: The Indian Roads Congress, the apex standard marking body for roads and highways, will set up a committee of experts to look for alternatives to cement and steel for road construction following a call from Union minister Nitin Gadkari to find innovative ways to reduce the use of these two key raw materials.
The IRC has also approved allowing the use of coir geotextile for road construction, which will improve the strength of road and help increase income of coconut growers. A top IRC functionary told TOI that efforts are now being made to expand the basket of raw materials for road projects to reduce cost.
Gadkari had on Sunday urged engineers and experts to find alternatives to cement and steel to “teach a lesson” to companies creating “sophisticated cartel” to push up prices artificially. Addressing a meeting of the IRC, Gadkari had said, “This is the time for the country to teach a lesson to the people who are creating cartels to increase prices artificially and are exploiting the poor, governments and the country for their benefits. This is not in the interest of the nation. We need to take some innovative actions to stop them from doing this. I suggest you take steps to reduce the use of cement and steel in road construction.”
The minister also said he recently went through a presentation by a top corporate on the use of synthetic fibre for road, bridge construction and for repair works. “I made it clear that before we approve the use of this material, they have to sign a rate contract with the ministry and state governments. I told them it’s not good that they will increase the price after we give approval,” the minister said.
He asked the IRC to ensure more use of modified bitumen, a mix of bitumen with plastic and rubber waste, to bring down the construction cost. Gadkari said there is a need to see that the guidelines framed by the IRC are implemented on the ground.
Appreciating the work done by engineers and officers for achieving the highest ever construction of NHs, the minister said, “All wings of our ministry have delivered. We could save nearly Rs 5,000 crore only in Zojila tunnel project after a committee set up under director general (Road) I K Pandey worked on the project. NHAI is building the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway at a breakneck speed…Sometimes I speak against those officers who don’t perform. But most of them are putting in their best efforts and hence we are getting good results. ”

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