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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Ministry of Road Transport Collaborates with IITs for Technical Guidance

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has announced its intention to seek expert advice and technical guidance from professors at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) on various aspects of road development and maintenance. In a memorandum of understanding with IIT Roorkee, IIT BHU, IIT Madras, and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Anantpur, the ministry plans to appoint chair professors who will serve as strategic advisors in new areas relevant to road transport and highways.

According to the notification, the chair professors will play a crucial role in offering technical guidance on topics such as traffic and highway engineering, research schemes, and other issues related to highway projects. They will also assist in finding scientific solutions to practical problems encountered in highway construction and maintenance.

The ministry has instructed its field officers to direct practical field problems related to the implementation of national highway projects to these appointed chair professors. Additionally, the chair professors are expected to drive innovation, research, and development in the highway sector, disseminating technological advancements in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of national highways.

In the wake of the Silkyara tunnel mishap in Uttarakhand, the government is taking a comprehensive approach to enhance the safety and security of workers involved in highway construction. Audits of under-construction tunnels across the country are being conducted, with a dedicated audit team established at various IITs and a tunneling institute under IIT Delhi. The aim is to research and propose enhanced safety measures for tunnels, aligned with international standards.

After the collapse of a portion of the tunnel on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway last month, leading to the entrapment of 41 workers, collaborative efforts involving National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL), Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL), Tehri Hydroelectric Development Corporation (THDC), Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVN), ONGC, and the Border Roads Organisation successfully rescued all workers after 17 days.

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