Toll Plazas of Highways Should be Rationalized: Chairman NHAI

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State and forest toll plazas should be rationalized, Mr Raghav Chandra, Chairman, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)  at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi. 

NEW DELHI: We will work with other state government and ministries to identify the problems at various check post where multiple agencies connect tolls of various time, the state excise toll and forest toll should be rationalized, said Mr Chandra while inaugurating conference on Roadtech: Sustainable Roads and Highways,’ organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

Mr Raghav Chandra, Chairman, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said in past, maintenance gets low priority due to poor capital budgeting.  He said that the developers being incentivized not just build a road but to also maintain it for the life cycle of the concession of the contract.

“Maintaining Opex is difficult for government”, said Chandra. We are looking at economically efficiency corridors and have identified some 15,000 Km of roads where we will have to convert two lanes to four lanes, to increase economic efficiencies by connecting points which have been left out historically.

We should have four lanes access controlled highways which will ensure the quality of the safety feature etc and ensure the six lanes can widened up later on. Greenfield expressway and greenfield corridors should be further upgradable with highest quality safety features land acquisition”, added NHAI Chairman.

Mumbai to Kolkata corridor can be made more efficient by creating a new connection of about 665 Km; the road transcend from 4 lane to 2 lanes in several places, 2 lanes to 4 lanes and zigzag at many places. So, all those need to be rationalized and so that traffic can move more efficiently and faster, said NHAI Chairman.

We are also identifying the choke points in cities, places which require bypasses, flyovers, interchanges and in days to come another area of focus for us, mentioned Mr. Chandra.

“We have also introduced electronic tolling on our corridors and 365 toll plazas along national highways, electronic equipment facility is available all about 355 only about 10 are left where still using handmade devices.

He mentioned, CRRI conducted a study by collecting 70 tonnes of municipal solid waste from different locations of 5/10/15 years old from Ghazipur land fill site of Municipal Corporation of Delhi and have recommended the municipal solid waste contains about 65 to 70% of soil components which can be used in embankment construction after segregation from the municipal solid waste.

He further said, the quality of paints which are used in highways are very poor in India. In this regard, I have set up a small committee headed by Mr. Patankar to look into.  We are not looking cost of the paints only but also how long the paints should last.

The Urban development in India has been good but country development is bad. The highways suffer because of the poor country planning hampering highway development, said Mr. Chandra.

We will be planting 1,000 trees per km and looking at 10 crore trees over the next seven-ten years; lot of public sector organization like a Power Finance Corporation and Coal India etc coming forward as a part of CSR to ties up with us and part of green highway initiated under the National Authority of India, said Mr. Chandra.

We have identified 184 flyovers to be done next 4-5 years, about 294 under passes, 5000 km left over service raods, 2 lakhs signage, 550 junction points etc and the work is going and I’m sure this number will keep increasing. Industry should get in involved in these areas and able to focus on them.

Others who also spoke during the conference were  Mr Manoj Gupta, Managing Director, AR Thermosets Pvt. Ltd., Mr Jyoti Prakash Gadia, Managing Director, Resurgent India Ltd., Mr K.C. Mehra, Chairman, National Council on Roads & Highways, and Mr D.S. Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM.

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