Jamshedpur, Sep 13: The Indian Chamber of commerce (ICC) Jharkhand State Office organized conference on Accelerating Development of Rural & Urban Roads, Highways in the state at Ranchi on 12th September, 2013.
Jairam Ramesh, Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development, Govt. of India was the Chief Guest of the conference. Ashish Mathur, MD, JUSCO was invited as Special Speaker to the conference. Evidently, Jharkhand today is at crossroads, there are developments envisaged in the state in many spheres – whether it be in industry; the services sector or in terms of Infrastructure. In this scenario, Jharkhand has been lagging behind with reference to road network & connectivity vis-a-vis other Indian states, resulting in high transportation costs.
The road network is inadequate not just in terms of quantity, but also quality and capacity. Nearly half of the villages & rural areas in Jharkhand lack connectivity in the form of all-weather-roads. In the urban areas deficiencies exist in the form of inadequate road capacity requiring widening, insufficient pavement thickness requiring proper designs, poor riding quality requiring resurfacing and partial strengthening, congested city sections requiring bypasses, sub-standard curves requiring realignment, imbalance in networks, vehicle pollution and finally over-loading. New roads have to be built and old roads need upgradation. Around 5% of major district roads still remain ‘kutcha’ roads. The National Highways in some stretches are in a particularly bad shape. Overall, construction quality of roads also requires a drastic improvement in both rural and urban areas as well as national highways.
Speaking on the occasion, Jairam Ramesh, said that for the year 2013-14, governments plan is to invest & spend Rs 1000 Crores alone towards upgradation & connectivity of rural roads at Jharkhand, stating that complete rural roads connectivity here is expected to be complete by 2018.The challenge lies ahead in developing local contracting & global contracting capacity. Local contracting capacity & encouraging local contractors is very vital to augment the pace of rural road construction at Jharkhand. S K Satpathy, Principal Secretary Rural Roads, Govt. of Jharkhand laid emphasis on the use of latest technology in making qualitative improvement in road Construction.
Ashish Mathur, Managing Director JUSCO gave the example of Rajasthan turning into a leading State because of good road connectivity, thus opportunities in Jharkhand are tremendous and road connectivity can play a vital role in transforming the economic scenario of the State, he added. Other prominent speakers included Dr. I K Pateriya, Director Technical, National Rural Roads Development Agency, Alok Bhardwaj, Technical Director & Head Operations URS India & Parikshit Moitra, Consultant, Tata Consultancy Services. Kamal Sahi, Director Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) gave the Welcome address, Shaleen Rao, Head Jharkhand Office, ICC proposed the Vote of Thanks.