A Timely Alert on Obstacles to Highway development
http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2007a/0705 ... India.html
India's lax safety standards, few qualified personnel (are) obstacles to highway modernization
..............there are serious safety and personnel problems that need to be addressed.............
.....The modernization of the national highway network is critical to India's economic development, said Kumares C. Sinha, the Edgar B. and Hedwig M. Olson Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering at Purdue University. But the current system and modernization efforts are plagued by major drawbacks, he said.
"Planning and design are often poorly done," said Sinha, who led the team. "Many projects are overdesigned, some are underdesigned. We found that there is an issue of accountability - that there are problems nobody takes responsibility for - and there needs to be more explicit accountability."
The team of engineers found serious lapses in construction safety and project supervision, he said.
"Planning and pre-engineering work is so poorly done that it delays land acquisition and construction," Sinha said. "And that can be improved substantially using improved technologies.
For example, if they use aerial surveying methods, that will cut down construction time and cost. We also observed a terrible lack of safety in construction work zones."
"We feel that there is a lot of talent at universities in India, but there is little connection between the universities and this massive transportation development,
" he said. "In the United States, building the interstate system left a legacy in higher education. We had a tremendous growth in our research and training and education because of the interstate system. The universities were brought into the effort. India should have universities as partners because there is a great need for properly trained engineers not only now for construction, but also in the future to manage and upgrade the system. Where will the talent come from?"
The team traveled along India's national highway system for about two weeks last fall (September 2006), visiting construction sites, reviewing ongoing projects and meeting with government officials, engineers, contractors, design consultants and others.