Ministry of Road Transport & Highways Current Affairs

India’s first ever Highway Capacity Manual released

The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has released India’s first ever Highway Capacity Manual to guide road engineers and policy makers about road expansion. The manual is known as Indo-HCM.

It was released by Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi.

Indo-HCM

The manual lays down guidelines for when and how to expand or manage different types of roads and their intersections and level of services to be put in place. It is designed to be useful tool for guiding road engineers and policy makers in country.

Significance

It has been developed based on the unique nature and diversity of traffic on Indian roads. The manual will help in the scientific planning and expansion of road infrastructure in country. This is first time that manual has been developed in India. Other countries like USA, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan have developed their own Highway Capacity Manuals long time back.

Background

The manual has been developed by CSIR–CRRI on basis of an extensive, country-wide study of traffic characteristics on different categories of roads like single, two, multi-lane urban roads, inter-urban highways and expressways and associated intersections on these roads.

The study involved seven academic institutions including IITs Mumbai, Roorkee, and Guwahati, School of Planning and Architecture (New Delhi), Indian Institute of Engineering and Science and Technology (Shibpur), Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Institute of Technology (Surat) and Anna University (Chennai).

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Ministry of Road Transport & Highways inks MoU with IL&FS for construction of Zojila tunnel

The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has inked MoU with IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd for construction of the 14.150 km long, 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir.

This would be India’s longest road tunnel and longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. On completion, the tunnel will provide all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh.

Zojila Tunnel Project

The project aims at construction of 14.150 km long two lane bidirectional single tube tunnel with parallel 14.200 km long egress tunnel between Baltaland Minamarg in J&K with total capital cost of Rs. 6808 crore. The duration for construction of the project is 7 years.

Its main objective is to provide all whether connectivity to strategically important Leh region in J&K which at moment is limited to 6 months in year because of snow on passes and threat of avalanches.

It will be first of its kind tunnel in such geographical area. It will have all modern technical safety arrangements such as cut and cross ventilation system, two axial fans, uninterrupted power supply, fully transverse ventilation system, CCTV monitoring, variable messaging boards, traffic logging equipment, tunnel radio, emergency telephone system etc.

Comment

The project has strategic and socio-economic importance and will be instrument for development of economically backward districts in J&K. It will also bring about all round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions. This project, along with other ongoing projects like 6.5 km long Z-Morh tunnel at Gagangir will ensure safe, fast and cheap all weather connectivity between Kashmir and Ladakh. They will also increase employment potential for local labourers for project activities. It will also boost employment as local businesses will get linked to national market and region will receive round the year tourist traffic.

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