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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Road education for techies, citizens

- Government plans museum for residents, training centre for engineers

Patna, March 12: Most of us would be hard pressed to distinguish between a mastic asphalt road and a black top one, though we drive or walk over them almost everyday.

Residents of the state would, however, be able to learn more about the different kinds of thoroughfares and how they are built at a road museum (see chart) that the government proposes to construct near Mokama, 100km east of Patna.

The museum — to be set up over a 44-acre plot — would be the first of its kind in the state. It would not only provide technological information but also display equipment and material used for road construction. A source in the road construction department told The Telegraph: “The museum is a part of a larger project of the state government to provide a state-of-the-art centre for imparting institutional training to engineers engaged in road construction.”

At present, around 5,000 techies, from the rank of junior engineers to chief engineers, work in the road construction department. The rural works department, which constructs village roads, has over 2,000 engineers.

Sources said none of these engineers get institutional training after being absorbed in government jobs. “We plan to enter into an agreement with top institutes of the country so that we can provide faculty members to impart training to our engineers,” said the source.

The proposed training centre would be fully residential. A director and two deputy director-level officers would be posted to run the institution. A training and research institute in Patna, used as a laboratory to test road construction material quality at present, would also be shifted to the proposed centre. It would be constructed in accordance with green building norms.

The department aims to execute the project in three years. Work for drawing up the detailed project report would start in the beginning of the next fiscal (2012-13). The institute and the road museum would be set up at a cost of Rs 100 crore to 150 crore. Various sources of funding like Nabard and Asian Development Bank are being considered.