Union minister V K Singh on Friday said the Indian road infrastructure sector has potential to spur economic growth, and exhorted industry players to come up with innovative solutions for cost efficiency in road construction.
Addressing the valedictory session of 'BITU-CON 2020: Bitumen and Road Construction Industry', organised by FICCI, the Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways said there is need to encourage more innovations and experimentation in infrastructure development.
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"This sector has a lot of potential and is profitable also. Things are improving in the economy although it may take some time for complete recovery. The more we construct the better it is going to be for the economy," Singh was quoted as saying in a statement by FICCI.
The Indian road infrastructure and highways construction industry, including the equipment and materials, is the biggest ingredient in spurring the economy, Singh said as per the statement.
He also urged the industry to come up with innovations and expressed government's commitment to support it at the policy level.
Singh also urged the industry to use more innovative solutions to ensure that the construction cost is reduced.
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"We have enough expertise, innovative spirit, know-how to make things better and this sector needs it. Indians have a great ability for innovation, but we are somehow not coming out with it. Innovation and experimentation should be encouraged in the industry to bring down the cost," he said.
Cost-cutting, he said, should be looked in two ways, one on the immediate cost-cutting and other on life-time cost-cutting.
"We should focus on life-time cost-cutting rather than immediate cost- cutting. There is a great scope available. It ensures less road maintenance, and wear and tear also comes down," said Singh.
The ministry also urged the industry to adopt pre-slab fabs in which quality is maintained and are standardised.
He also suggested the industry to find out ways to expand the use of bitumen and not just restrict to road construction.
Shailesh Pathak, Co-Chairman, FICCI Transport Infrastructure Committee and CEO of L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd, said the industry will collectively work with the government, academia and businesses to ensure it meets target.
The industry was willing to work with the government in the expansion of greenfield expressway development, Pathak said and sought government's support in ensuring that bringing newer technologies and reducing cost should not impact profits.
Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI, stressed the need for working collectively to bring down the cost of road construction.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.