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Road safety expert calls for new gen bridges in hilly areas

Statesman News Service | Shimla |

The new generation quick bridges can resolve the problem of tough terrains areas of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and north east regions which are prone to landslides or flash floods.

These are the recommendation of Geneva-based International Road Federation and global road safety expert KK Kapila, who also called for busting myth that such bridges are expensive.

Kapila said India has challenging ground conditions in places like Uttarakhand, HP, J&K and other part of northern and eastern parts of the country which are prone to landslides and difficult terrain.

In these areas, the pre-engineered and quick launch bridges can be of big help, he said in a release here.

“Innovative technique of building large number of bridges in short span of time at low cost in the sector is fast picking up across the world. In countries like the United States of America, China, Japan, France, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, this technique of building bridges is widely used,” he said, adding focus should be given to using modern techniques for improvement of conventional bridges which form the majority.

He said the Indian road network consists of more than one lakh bridges. Similarly, more than 30,000 bridges on the Indian Railways network were more than 100-year-old, evolution of technologies that facilitate quick construction of bridges on a running line are the need of the hour.

Kapila said the New Generation Quick Launch Bridges are expensive is a myth, and needs to be corrected. “The Infra Sector can take advantage of these bridges in India as the rest of the world is already doing so. In emergencies and where we need to save time, these new generation bridges are far superior and more cost effective than the presently used Bailey bridges,” he said.

Decision makers and users must see beyond the L-1 approach in finding solutions, and compare the advantages in a more holistic manner.

They will then realise the savings are much more than the small price difference at purchase. For this, one needs to understand the technical aspects and the long term advantages clearly, he said.

In addition, the quick launch bridges have a life of 75-100 years and the galvanised steel is good for 75 years before it even starts to deteriorate.

It can be launched to road widths varying from 3.7m to 14.6m, allowing 4-5 lanes as required. These have also been used as Rail Bridges and a number of other applications.