The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur for a research project to develop technology to construct long-lasting maintenance-free highways in India.
''IIT-Kharagpur will develop 'panelled cement concrete pavements' for highways. The duration of the research project is three years,'' a statement from NHAI said.
In India, highways are generally paved with bituminous material produced from refineries. These highways are prone to damage and need frequent maintenance due to climatic conditions such as rain and hot weather prevailing in the country. To overcome this problem, the road transport and highways ministry has announced a policy for the construction of concrete pavements for all major highways due to their longevity and maintenance free life.
Traditionally and as per the current practices, the construction of these highways requires a monolithic (in-situ) layer of cement concrete normally 300 mm thick laid continuously over the prepared surface, and an innovation is required to optimise the design of concrete pavement in its traditional form, which can facilitate faster construction at much cheaper cost, thus consuming less natural resources and promoting green highways in the country.