Sep 5: The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) may use geothermal energy for powering energy needs of tunnels in Jammu and Kashmir as well as for heating them in winters. Mr Nagendra Nath Sinha, Managing Director of NHIDCL said at an ASSOCHAM event in Delhi that the concept may be tried out in Zojila Tunnel project currently executed by the company.
“In Zojila, we are thinking, we have not yet succeeded, (about) use of geo-thermal energy for powering the energy needs of tunnels as well as for heating the tunnels in winters,” said Mr Sinha in his inaugural address at 4th ASSOCHAM International Conference–ROADTECH: Sustainable Roads and Highways. He was highlighting the various efforts being made by the NHIDCL towards adoption of sustainable technologies in construction of roads and highways. “We need to build our practices, technologies, operations, calculations in a manner in which resources are put to best use,” said Mr Sinha.
He added, “We should actually think of how do we minimise or how can we build highways which do not take any natural resource, if that can be achieved that would be a really great thing in the way we develop our highways.”
He further said that unwillingness of contractors and consultants, lack of skilled workmen, life-cycle approach are certain key challenges in way of use of sustainable technologies.
“If only we had a kind of a rating system whereby ratings could have been assigned to the highways on the entire life-cycle use of natural material, energies and other such factors, then the contractors, agencies would have been encouraged and incentivised to use more sustainable technologies,” said Mr Sinha.