New Delhi: Pre-fabricated bridges can play a major role in augmenting infrastructure especially in difficult terrains in places like Jammu & Kashmir, Road Transport and Highways Minister CP Joshi said Saturday.
"We have challenging ground conditions in places like Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir or the northern and eastern parts of India 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.
He was addressing a seminar on `Pre-engineered and quick launch bridges`, organised by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and Indian Institution of Bridge Engineers.
Joshi said the innovative technique of building large number of components 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, Japan, France, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, this technique of building bridges is widely used," he said.
Focus should be given to using modern techniques for improvement of conventional bridges in the country which form the majority, he said.
He added that the Indian road network consists of around one lakh bridges, of which about 15,000 are on National Highways.
Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal said bridges are vital for railways and considering that 33,000 bridges on Indian Railways network were more than 100 years old, "evolution of technologies that facilitate quick construction of bridges on a running line would be a welcome step."
Railways has a plan to eliminate level crossings in a time bound manner as they not only affect train operations but are also the most vulnerable locations for accidents as road users often violate safety instructions on at unmanned level crossings, he added.
Border Roads Organisation (BRO) Director General S Ravi Shankar said BRO in the next five years needs to construct 35,000 metres of bridges.