NHAI Current Affairs - 2020

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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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NHAI approves pilot project for developing greenbelts along National highways

National Highways Authorities of India (NHAI) has approved a pilot project for undertaking scientific studies on designing greenbelts along national highways.

Proposal in this regard was submitted by Nagpur based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).

Key facts

  • The pilot project will be implemented on a 5 km stretch on NH-7 (Varanasi to Kanyakumari) between Jam and Hinganghat in Nagpur region.
  • Around 20,000 scientifically chosen species of trees are proposed to be planted on both sides of this stretch in multiple rows at an estimated cost of 11 crore 80 lakh rupees.
  • The project will run for five years’ time span. During this period various experiments will be conducted in NEERI laboratory to record the impact of greenbelt development.
  • Work activities have been delineated considering two major factors such as Highway requirement and objectives along with Plant characteristics to fit in the site requirement.
  • Highway requirement and objectives includes traffic frequency, available space, soil type, water availability, climatic conditions and anthropogenic interference
  • Plant characteristics to fit in the site requirement would depend on height, canopy cover, air pollution Tolerance Index and sociability of selected species of trees.
  • Besides developing greenbelt, the project will also assist in developing relevant research infrastructure that may be used for similar studies in future.

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