Saturday , 7 December 2019

Conference on Road Infrastructure organised in Mumbai

A one day workshop on Road Infrastructure was organised by IBK Media in Mumbai. Various experts spoke on different aspects of road infrastructure in four suitably divided sessions at the conference. A V Simha, former Director General (Road Development) & Special Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, was of the opinion that in the highway sector it was important to shift focus more towards operation and maintenance rather than just concentrating on construction. While emphasising the need for innovation in materials, methods and technology, he said that providing adequate importance to traffic management, sign & signages, pavement markings, timely maintenance, safety & emergency maintenance and lighting toll operations was also very important. Prof M N Sreehari, Advisor to Govt of Karnataka for Traffic, Transportation & Infrastructure & Professor at RV College of Engineering, highlighted the significance of infrastructure projects for providing mile connectivity by creating Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities so that the pressure on urban areas would be reduced. He was speaking on ‘Current scenario on roads in Karnataka’. He stressed on the need to provide good roads and shoulders, proper budget allocation, building capacity to cater to high traffic volume, road safety issues and R & D. S M Ramchandani, Joint Managing Director, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), said that state highway network is about ten times the National Highway network in Maharashtra. Among MSRDC’s many achievements, he cited the Mumbai Pune Control Expressway (which has four ambulances, six police patrol vehicles, a control Centre – CC – near Lonavla and phone connections which are to be connected to the CC), Bandra-Worli Sea Link, a project of 55 flyovers (34 completed), 22 Border Check posts (11 completed) and state highways. MSRDC is now constructing a bypass near Nagpur and a ring road around Pune, he said adding that efforts were on to improve the toll facility. Rajesh Rohatgi, Senior Transport Specialist with The World Bank highlighted the importance of Output & Performance Based Road Contract (OPRC) as an alternate PPP model while Sathees Kumar, Chief General Manager of CARE Ratings, gave details on the factors considered in rating projects — parameter risk, project execution risk revenue risk, O&M risk, cash flow risk, local political risk, govt risk and case specific risk, etc. P Y Deshmukh, Chief Manager – Port Planning & Development Department at Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Sudhir Hoshing – CEO (Roads) at Reliance Infrastructure Limited, Kamal Bali – President & CEO of LeeBoy India Construction Equipment (P) Limited, Satish Pendse – President, Highbar Technologies and Michael Kedem, Founder & Director of Innovation Technology Enzyme Company of India Pvt Ltd (I-Tec-India) were among the other speakers at the conference.

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