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Tuesday , 5 December 2023

Cement to replace bitumen

The Union government has decided to use cement for new road projects, replacing bitumen. The use of cement is estimated to bring down long term maintenance costs of road projects significantly, though they are expensive to build. Cement roads that do not cost more than 20% to build than bitumen roads will be given the go-ahead under the new policy. Cement will be used as the raw material unless the government-appointed consultant for evaluating the new project opposes the use of cement, giving reasons for the non-usability. Road projects will be now evaluated on the basis of their life cycle cost instead of just the construction costs, as was the case earlier, thus including maintenance costs in the project. The use of cement will be supported for projects bid under all models—BOT (build-operate-transfer) toll, EPC (engineering-procurement-construction) and BOT annuity. To get a better procurement price for cement, the ministry has floated a tender to fix a competitive annual rate. The developers will be able to purchase cement for road construction at this price from the cement manufacturer.


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