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PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone of Char Dham highway development project

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of Char Dham highway development project or Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

The Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna is an ambitious initiative to improve connectivity to the Char Dham pilgrimage centres in the Himalayas.

Key Facts
  • The project’s main objective is to develop around 900 km of national highways. These highways will be built at an approximate cost of Rs 12,000 crore.
  • It will allow uninterrupted access for pilgrims to the four Himalayan shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttarakhand.
  • The all-weather roads will have tunnels, bridges and fly-overs to enhance road safety and uninterrupted access.
  • It will have proper slope stabilisation to ensure protection against landslides. It will benefit people visiting holy shrines in Uttarakhand.
  • It will generate additional employment for the local population and will change the economy of the State as it will give strong boost to connectivity and tourism.

 

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SC bans liquor shops on national, state highways across India

The Supreme Court has ordered a ban on all liquor shops on national as well as state highways to reduce drink driving and road accidents that claim thousands of lives every year across the country.

The three-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur gave its order on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO called ‘Arrive Safe’.

The petitioner had mentioned that easy availability of liquor from stores on highways was a major reason for drunk driving. This results into around 1.42 lakh death annually in road accidents, many of which are caused by drunk driving.

Supreme Court order
  • All liquor shops on national as well as state highways to be completely banned.
  • Licenses of existing Liquor shops will not be renewed after March 31, 2017.
  • All ads indicating presence of liquor vends must be prohibited on national and state highways.
  • Liquor Shops must be at least 500 metres away from the outer edge of the highways or service lanes.
  • This ban will also extend to stretches of such highways that fall within limits of municipal corporations, city towns and local authorities.

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NHAI inks MoU with IIT-Kharagpur to develop technology to construct maintenance free highways in India

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has signed MOU with IIT-Kharagpur for research project to develop technology to construct long lasting maintenance free highways.

Under this MoU, IIT-Kharagpur will develop ‘Paneled Cement Concrete Pavements’ for highways. The duration of the research project is 3 years.

Background

  • Traditionally in India, the highways are paved with bituminous material produced from refineries.
  • However, these highways are prone to damage and need frequent maintenance due to adverse climatic conditions such as rain and hot weather prevailing in the country.
  • Therefore, to overcome this problem, the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry recently had announced a policy for the construction of concrete pavements for all major highways due to their longevity and maintenance free life.

Paneled Concrete Pavement

  • The paneled concrete pavement can facilitate faster construction of highways at much cheaper cost by consuming fewer natural resources and thus promote Green Highways in the country.
  • This concrete will be laid on a lean concrete base which can provide long lasting maintenance free pavement at a cost on par with those of bituminous pavements.

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