NEW DELHI: In specific construction projects, it will be henceforth mandatory to use pre-cast concrete elements in at least 25 per cent of the total concrete volume, other than the foundation work. The latest policy decision by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is aimed at reduction of pollution at construction sites, besides rapid completion of work and improved aesthetics.
The use has been mandated in construction of national highways, expressways and other centrally-sponsored road projects. According to a circular issued by the ministry in this regard, the minimum mandatory usage should be 25 per cent of total concrete volume other than the foundations, sub-structures of bridges, viaducts and road overbridges.
Factory-manufactured pre-cast concrete has benefits such as enabling all-weather and fast construction, reliable quality, enhanced performance durability, better aesthetics due to uniformity in appearance. Besides, there is less carbon emission and reduced noise and air pollution due to less on-site construction activities, said the circular. The decision, when implemented, will also play an integral role in accelerating the growth of the MSME sector, the circular stated.
With big-ticket infrastructure projects being undertaken across the country, pollution caused by construction dust remains a major concern of policy makers, urban planners and environmental experts. In fact, construction activity in Delhi is suspended for a brief period in winters, when alarming rise in pollution levels make the national capital choke.
Apart from pollution concerns, the government has also been looking at fast completion of projects. This is another factor behind pushing for pre-fabricated concrete elements. The MoRTH note has been shared with chief secretaries of states and UTs and officials of National Highways Authority of India, National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited, Border Road Organisation and public work departments of states and UTs for compliance.
To ensure effective implementation of the decision, the ministry will make provisions in contract and concession agreement documents for inclusion of mandatory use of factory manufactured pre-fabricated concrete elements in projects within 100 km radius of pre-cast factory.