In line with the dynamics of the road infrastructure in India.

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Subsurface engineering has huge potential, great opportunities: Gadkari

India is witnessing rapid urbanization and robust road infrastructure. Using newer technologies, the roads ministry now wants to tap huge potential with its tunneling projects.

There are several tunnel projects underway in India and what will help the Nitin Gadkari-led roads ministry achieve its goals is ‘subsurface engineering’.

“Subsurface engineering has huge potential. It is helping in infrastructural projects and other areas. This skill has huge potential and will create huge employment opportunity too,” said Gadkari while inaugurating a School of Subsurface Engineering by MIT World Peace University (MIT-WPU).

Subsurface engineering will be used in many tunnel projects, such as in Jammu and Kashmir, river connectivity projects, etc.

“We’ll be starting 20 tunnel projects in Jammu and Kashmir within two years. We will start works on the Zojila Pass in few months as soon as we get the approval of Rs 6,000 crore. For constructing the tunnel, we want to rope in youth from the area for which we will impart them the necessary skills and training. This will enable employment and increase their potential too,” said Gadkari.

There is huge potential of subsurface engineering in river connectivity projects too. For instance, the roads ministry is constructing one project in Polavaram where River Godavari’s excess water will be diverted to River Krishna and then to Pennar and to River Cauvery.

“I feel subsurface engineering is an appropriate field. We will facilitate skill development and training programme where the contractors will cooperate with the local population,” said Gadkari, adding, “they will impart practical training, conducts examinations and then we will give you the certificate.”

“Cost of construction is a big concern and we have to reduce it. So, I feel that by using successful practices, we can save the cost. This is a good start. We are also digging tunnels in Maharashtra and constructing rail project from Indore to Manmad at the tune of Rs 6,000 crore,” said Gadkari.

Right now, India has to outsource engineers from various countries, which increases the cost of construction. Gadkari wants to provide opportunities to locals, which will help them in building more avenues.

For river connectivity, the ministry has 30 projects ready at the tune of Rs 8 lakh crore.

Meanwhile, Gadkari also spoke about development projects in the North-East region and creating employment opportunities.

“We are awarding contracts to contractor from Arunachal, Meghalaya, Tripura, etc., so that they create huge employment there. We have to have technical skills. We have create competition too so that big contractors do not eat up the small ones,” he added.

Subsurface engineering will also enable contractors to bid in tunneling projects and create jobs.

Gadkari said subsurface engineering is a great field and if tapped, India can go a long way.