MoRTH mulls bank for newer ideas, tech for quality in infra growth

Innovation bank

New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is proposing to set up an ‘innovation bank’ for new ideas, research findings and technologies to ensure ‘quality’ in infrastructure development.

Addressing the inaugural function of the 222nd mid-term council meeting of the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) virtually, MoRTH Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said that the engineers of IRC should come forward along with the experts in the sectors and contribute to ideas of the innovation bank.

Gadkari said that infrastructure development has an important role in fulfilling the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India a $5trillion economy and road infrastructure is directly linked to the prosperity of that region. “Road is a communication link that connects people, culture and society and brings prosperity through socio-economic development,” added the Minister.

About the proposed innovation bank, the Minister said that new initiatives are expected from the IRC. “Innovation should be the focus area for all engineers. IRC should develop a world-class state-of-art laboratory with the help of IITs and global institutions in the world,” added Gadkari.

The length of National Highways has gone up by more than 50% from 91,000 km in 2014 to about 1.47 Lakh km now. “The Central government is determined to expand the network of National Highways to 2 lakh kms by 2025. The development of North East region is equally important to the nation. The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) is playing a vital role in developing infrastructure in this region. The National Highway share of the region stands at 10%,” he said.

The Minister said we are ready to adopt World’s best and most successful technology and new materials for construction. He said use of Proven Technology and Reduction in Construction Cost are the two most important driving forces for us. We need to reduce the cost of construction while maintaining quality, he added.

Underlining India’s commitment to reduce the carbon footprints and check exploitation of natural resources, Gadkari said development at the cost of degradation of ecology and environment is not acceptable. He said a sustainable alternative for steel and cement needed to be found out.

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