Hemant Soren and Haji Hussain Ansari at Build Jharkhand Summit in Ranchi on Wednesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
The Jharkhand government finally seems to be giving a serious thought to improving the condition of roads and highways.
Two departments, in association with State Highways Authority of Jharkhand, are holding a conference to discuss and prepare a road map for infrastructure development. Called “Build Jharkhand Summit”, the two-day summit started at hotel Chanakya BNR in Ranchi on Wednesday.
Chief minister Hemant Soren inaugurated the conference, while state building construction minister Haji Hussain Ansari was the guest of honour. Experts from leading institutions of the country, who are involved in designing modern and cost-effective techniques for infrastructure development, were present.
The participants deliberated on modern techniques and best practices in road and building construction, which was the theme of the conference.
Hemant said striking a balance between environment conservation and sustainable development was a real challenge. “Financing a construction project often poses a problem. So when funds are released, all-out efforts must be made to utilise the money effectively,” he said, adding that the officials should consider adopting new techniques in the field.
At present, the density of state highways and major district roads in Jharkhand is 91.8km per 1,000sqkm, which is just half the national figure of 182.4km per 1,000sqkm.
“We need to improve our statistics,” Hemant added.
Appreciating that the state was considering ways to make up for the deficiency, Dharmveer Singh, an IIT-Mumbai professor, stressed on aspects like quality of raw materials, modern equipment and techniques and proper training of engineers for constructing sustainable roads.
“There must be a holistic approach to planning and designing development models keeping in mind the socio-culture and ecological aspects of the state,” IIT-Roorkee professor Pushpalata chipped in.
Rajbala Verma, principal secretary, road construction, said building and maintaining stretches with limited resources was a big challenge. She hoped that the ideas floated at the summit would guide the state government in planning and designing projects in a better manner.