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About the Association

The Association of Tamilnadu Highways Engineers was started and recognized in the Government order No. 1814 Public Services Department Dt. 21.5.1956.

HIGHWAYS DEPARTMENT – A BIRD’S EYE VIEW (History, Establishment, Accounts, Execution and Quality Control)

In the Civil Engineering curriculum of many Universities, Highways Engineering is of course a neglected area. This inference is drawn because more thrust is given only to the area of buildings. So, in the early days all the technical details were supplied to the Engineers in the form of type designs, pictorial illustrations etc Now a days the practice has been decelerating for unknown reasons.

After the advent of globalization of Indian economy, the infrastructure projects like roads and bridges are given top priority by Central and State Governments. The young engineers recruited for Government services are employed straight away in multi-crore projects – without adequate practical knowledge and training. That is why, the Association of Tamilnadu Highways Engineers, time and again, have appealed to the Government for foundation training to the newly recruited Engineers.

Even the senior Engineers, at times, find it hard to get proper clarification when required, as the Government are not recruiting personnel when required then and there. To fill the gap, the Association undertook the task of compiling various important provisions of codes, manuals and rules for the benefit of the employees.

Highways Department Manual comprises four volumes and they deal with the subjects noted against each of them.


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Volume I

Part I – Rules, regulations, methods and general conditions of contract. Part II – Specifications for materials used in road construction Part III – Specifications for bridges.

Volume II

Part I – Briefs procedures for various works like earth work, untreated surface, treated pavements, cement concrete pavements, as also road side development including Traffic Engineering. Part II – Design aspects of Bridges.

Volume III

Pictorial illustration of bridges and roads of different type

Volume IV

Part I - Administrative and financial rules.
Part II – Accounting procedure.
Part III- rules to be followed in the works of District Boards (now defunct)
Part IV –Annexure to the rules in parts I & II.

The volumes have been last published in the year 1989. One of the reasons being advocated is that the Department has punished our Indian Roads Congress specifications.

In addition to the above, an Engineer is expected to be aware of the provisions of the following codes.

  1. Public Works Account Code & Department Code.
  2. Treasury Code.
  3. Tamilnadu Government Employees conduct Rules 1973.
  4. Tamilnadu Financial Code.
  5. TamilNadu Account Code Volume I and III.

The codes of various Departments are not published periodically as was done in the earlier days. The books available with the senior Government employees are either outdated or mutilated. So, the Government servants find it very difficult to get genuine clarifications when required. In Highways Department, in the years 1996-2001 and 2006-2008, about 1000 new Assistant Engineers have been recruited. Some of them have got their promotions as Assistant Divisional Engineers also. The Association is well aware of their difficulties in getting reference books. So, the Executive Committee Members expressed their desire for compiling a volume comprising the important details.

This volume includes, the History and the objectives of the Association, History of the Department, Government servants conduct Rules, Accounting procedures, the art of recording measurements, Disciplinary proceedings, Punishments, Execution and Quality Control methods, etc. As the subject is vast, only a bird’s eye view is attempted. The users are requested to refer to the relevant codes for further details.