The Bengal government will soon begin research and development (R&D) on a new mechanism to build roads in rural areas of the state and ensure the construction of durable stretches meet international standards.
The research wing of Rural Connectivity Training and Research Centre (RCTRC), set up under the panchayat and rural development department’s West Bengal State Rural Development Agency (WBSRDA), will soon become functional in Kalyani for R&D on new technologies to build roads in the state.
Since the implementation of new road-laying mechanisms developed through R&D is mandatory in at least 15 per cent of roads built annually under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, known as the Bangla Gram Sadak Yojana in Bengal, state panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee on Thursday visited the laboratory of the institute in Kalyani on Thursday to check its level of preparedness.
The training unit of the institute had started working earlier but the lab operations were delayed because of the Covid situation though infrastructure and machinery installation were ready.
“A major change in use of technology has occurred in road construction. Our aim is to evolve the best possible mechanism using modern technology and continuous research. Our engineers will conduct the research in the laboratory here and develop the mechanism for successful implementation of their outputs in the road projects in rural areas,” an official of the WBSEDA said.
“We have implemented new mechanism using polythene in bitumen for a waterproof effect on the road’s black top and launched cold mix bituminous plants. Through research we can innovate effective mechanisms to build roads that suit our needs and geographical conditions,” an engineer said.
Built with financial support of the Asian Development Bank on an area spanning over 7.38sqkm in B Block of Kalyani town in Nadia, the RCTRC has compression testing machine, core cutting machine, water distillation unit, rebound hammer, saybolt viscometer apparatus, skid resistance machine, ductility test unit, soil testing unit, sieve analysis unit, among others. The training unit for the engineers include faculty rooms, conference room, classrooms, guest house, kitchen and gymnasium.
Officials attached to RCTRC said the centre would tie up with other institutions in the field to optimise research and training output.