Delhi CM happy with roads, but peeved with engineers

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New Delhi, Oct 5 (UNI) The national capital of Delhi may be having the ''luxury of wide roads'', but Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is mighty peeved with her engineers.

''They are extremely reluctant to adopt new technologies for constructing roads, which are being adopted all over the world now,'' Ms Dikshit said, while addressing the 2nd Regional Conference of International Road Federation (IRF) on 'Road Safety - Design, Construction and Operations of Roads' here today.

The Chief Minister put her poser straight to Union Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister T R Baalu, who had earlier inaugurated the conference.

''Our engineers are showing enormous resistance to adoption of new technologies like plastic roads, which are being used in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and cold sheet, which make the roads last longer as compared to the traditional technology based on bitumen,'' she said.

''Baalu Saab, you must do something to rectify the situation,'' she said, pointing out that plastic roads, built with a mixture of bitumen and plastic, were extremely sturdy and durable.

She said the adoption of plastic roads would also help in dealing with the problem of plastic wastes which clog the city's drainage system, besides generating employment for ragpickers.

''I am not an expert on road technology, but I am positioned at the cutting edge of administration, and I know for sure plastic roads can be a solution to the problem,'' she added.

Ms Dikshit also said Delhi may be having the ''luxury of wide roads'', but the disturbing reality is 28 types of vehicles are plying on its roads, causing chaos more than often. She also referred to the burgeoning population of vehicles in the city, which was more than the vehicles in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai put together.

The chief minister, however, exuded optimism about ''a very modern bus system'' well in advance of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

''We are going to have 2500 low floor modern buses by the end of 2008 while a high capacity bus corridor would be ready by next June-July,'' she informed.

She said the Delhi government ''is seriously concerned about increasing fatal road incidents and has taken several measures for preventing them, inclkuding introduction of low floor buses on several routes by the end of this year.'' In addition, she said, a number of flyovers and pdestrian foot bridges had come up in the city, which had helped in reducing accidents.

Ms Dikhsit called for forging a better coordination between police and traffic department and also made a strong case for enacting new laws to deal with the menace of road accidents.


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