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Friday , 12 July 2024

Quality Roads, Yes; Accidents, No


Established over 25 years back primarily for supplying road safety products, Lucknow based Descon Infrastructures Pvt. Ltd (derived from Design Section and coined by the Founder Sanjeev Khobragade) has today earned its special space in India’s urban and highway infrastructure development. From safety solutions, retroreflective signage, and thermoplastic road markings to highway management, Descon has come a long way. Sanjeev Goel, Managing Director-Descon Infrastructures Pvt. Ltd, shares with TrafficInfraTech’s Mohana M how the company’s focus has been steering towards contributing to India’s expanding road network.

The  Descon was brought to life in 1992 as a small firm operating in the North for reflective signage. Later the company grew as a single stop provider for Road Safety Services including Road Safety Audits, retro-reflective signage, thermoplastic road marking paint and installation of road safety solutions. The Company has recently ventured into Highway Maintenance and provides pavement rehabilitation services with the latest addition of a Micro Surfacing Machine to its fleet. 

Road Safety, the prime focus

At present road safety is the Indian government’s top priority. The rapid expansion of road network requires for safety of road users. Descon safety offerings include road markings, pavement markers, flexible median markers, and signage. A small initiative in this direction, says Goel, is the elimination of blackspots on highways. A blackspot is a location where road traffic collisions have been historically concentrated. The government has been tirelessly working in identifying these locations & taking up relevant measures by installing retro-reflective signage & rumble markings, to alert the road users.

“The latest products like crash attenuators, passive safe poles & roller crash barriers may also be used in future projects to enhance road safety. This focus on micro-level improvements has significantly reduced accidents, and this effort will only increase in the future. Additionally, we are installing metal beam crash barriers on highways to prevent accidents at high speeds,” adds Goel.

Highway Construction

Descon participates in both the planning and execution stages of highway construction. “The differentiation lies in our commitment to quality, supported by in-house testing facilities to ensure product standards,” says Goel. “We remain committed to our vision of enriching the infrastructure ecosystem with smart, safe & integrated solutions.”

Goel is proud that his company’s focus is on sustainability in highway design, learning from the best practices of developed nations. “We use products like cellulose fibers (VIATOP), which extend the life of highways with minimal maintenance, contributing to sustainable pavements. These fibers come from FSC or PEFC certified sources, ensuring eco-friendliness. “Stone Matrix Asphalts” as a technology allows for construction of pavements up to 15-20 years life without undergoing major maintenance thus giving substantial savings.”

Regarding construction materials, bitumen remains essential, but new technologies like cold bitumen and stone mastic asphalt can reduce environmental impact and extend pavement life. We are also exploring alternative materials like bamboo for crash barriers to reduce environmental impact.

“One of our successful projects is our work with Cube Highways. They uphold high standards of product quality and worker safety, ensuring proper working zones and safety equipment for workers.”

Urban design and safety

Urban design poses unique challenges due to space constraints, but proper road user education and better law enforcement can mitigate many issues. The prime element in urban design could be the creation of sufficient waiting zones and parking places along Urban & Rural Highways as most accidents take place due to stationary vehicles.

An extremely interesting project conducted by Descon recently has been the designing & erection of city signages in the city of Ayodhya. To guide the huge number of devotees visiting the city, the Company came up with a unique theme and design based on which multiple retro reflective signage were installed throughout the city. Following global standards, the theme included using six foreign languages and 22 national languages to cater to visitors from across the globe.

Goel endorses the sentiment that the synergy in India at this point is amazing. “The Indian Government is focused on reducing the number of road accidents and is actively approaching the topic of road safety by upgrading specifications to meet global standards of road safety. At the same time, the increased pace of highway construction & upgradation of existing network will require adoption of sustainable practices.”

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