The government is planning to build concrete roads in areas prone to natural calamities after several highways across the country were badly damaged because of heavy rain and cloudbursts.
“There is a need to build roads, bridges and tunnels as per international norms in areas prone to heavy rainfall and landslides. We are considering building concrete roads,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said today.
The minister said an expert committee will be formed for this and the Indian Institute of Technology will also be roped in. Concrete roads are more durable than tar roads and are more resistant to the effects of weather.
Many states have seen unusually heavy rainfall this year, with Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh being among the worst hit.
Last week, Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department minister Vikramaditya Singh said Mr Gadkari had assured him that the centre would sanction Rs 300 crore for reconstructing damaged roads and bridges connecting national highways in the state.
A huge chunk of a road along the Jammu-Srinagar Highway had also caved in amid heavy rain earlier this month. The road, which connects two tunnels on the national highway, was washed away after landslides, triggered by heavy rain, occurred in several parts of Ramban district.
At least 300 travellers were stuck in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district in June after a crucial road was washed away following a landslide. The travellers were left stranded in Dharchula and Gunji after the Lipulekh-Tawaghat road, 45 km above Dharchula, was washed away.
A landslide had also washed away a part of a key highway in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli the same month, leaving tourists stranded. A portion of National Highway 7, which leads to Badrinath, had been covered in debris.
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