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India on cusp of infra revolution: Indian Army’s Engineer-in-chief


Pointing out that now the Army was also using high-energy technology to construct its buildings for operational usage, the topmost engineering officer of the Indian Army on Wednesday said the country was on the cusp of an infrastructure revolution in view of the developments in the sector.

Speaking at a conclave in Goa, Indian Army’s Engineer in chief Lt Gen Harpal Singh said, “The Military Engineering Services, an infrastructure arm of the Corps of Engineers of Indian Army is taking up nische technologies to bring in faster and quality construction all around.”

“India’s first 3D Concrete Printed permanent married accommodation for soldiers was constructed by co-opting a start-up by the Military Engineering Service in a matter of three weeks. More such efforts are on the anvil,” he said.

Citing the Gati Shakti National Master Plan in Oct 2021 launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said with schemes like multimodal connectivity, the country was heralding a new chapter in governance.

“This initiative brought in 16 Ministries including Railways and highways on a single digital platform for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects,” the officer said.

He stated that the initiative will incorporate the infrastructure schemes of various Ministries and State Governments like Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland water transport, dry/ land ports, UDAN etc.

“Therefore, we can see that we are already on the cusp of an infra revolution,” he said.

Speaking on the issue of waste management, Singh said this is one of the key problems of modern society due to the ever-expanding volume and complexity of domestic and industrial wastes and their implications on health and the environment.

“Some of the new initiatives in this sector are waste level sensors and AI-based robotic recycling methodologies, as also solar powered trash compactors etc. We can also look at waste recycled concrete, road making with waste plastics etc as also plasma gasification approaches,” he said.

He said plastic pollution was a serious problem that all can identify with and our civil engineers are trying to find solutions. One such idea is to use plastic waste in road making. India has begun also testing this idea when they built plastic roads”

He said, however, there are concerns regarding microplastics and the fact that they will leach into the soil and pollute it, harming the ecosystems. With better application and integration, though, this concept could be a big-time, game-changer.

He said similarly, the use of Photovoltaic glazing, on roofs, windows and other building materials, can help replace traditional glass material usage, and become beneficial for civil engineers as they can invest in and implement more sustainable construction materials into their overall plans. Enhanced conversion of plastics into fuels by using Pyrolysis processes will be a great step forward, he said.

Dhanshree Badhe

Dhanshree Badhe

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