In a stern warning to those engineers and officers who are blocking new technology and innovation proposed by highway developers, a top central government official has said “strict action” would be taken against them.
Highlighting the importance of new technology in the infrastructure development, the senior official said these officers must shed the attitude of “putting a spoke” to prevent adoption of new technologies that don’t compromise with quality.
“If any engineer or any of my officers, is seen as obstructing innovative technology or new technology, we will take them to task. We will take strict action against them... you are stopping the progress of the country by doing this,” said Union Road Transport and Highways Secretary Giridhar Aramane while addressing a workshop on popularising the use of ultra-high-performance fibre-reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) and factory manufactured precast concrete in highway construction.
Aramane said while the UHPFRC has been in use for decades across countries, these have not yet been used in a big way in India.
He said the government engineers and supervising consultants in the highway sector are still following the old norms and were not improving designs, standards and methods of doing work.
“This will do no good in the long run. I still receive complaints that the authority engineer or independent engineer is not supporting the design, if there is some innovative work or material that a highway builder wants to use in a project,” the secretary said.
He urged the highway developers to bring such cases to the notice of competent authorities so that necessary actions can be taken.
The secretary pointed out that if other developed countries are using a technology why Indian engineers are not allowing them here. “Our circular is very clear that any technology approved by CRRI and is already in the IRC, there shall be no bar on their use by the developer or contractors. Why are you putting spoke in that again and again? A proven technology does not need to be proven again and again. If there is evidence of international standards and regulation, there is no need for further certification,” Aramane said.
He said how the industrial revolution passed by India because of the attitude of government functionaries. “During industrial evolution we failed and we allowed the revolution to pass by us,” the secretary said.
The secretary also urged the industry to focus on quality as he cited how there was at least one report of an under construction bridge or structure collapsing six month back. “Despite having the best engineers, we allowed bridges to collapse, it’s a shame,” Aramane said.
Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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