The word “Kempering”

Zapra Chakhesang
New Minster Hill, Kohima

The word “Kempering” (German) is a word of Civil Engineering particularly for the Engineers of PWD(Roads & Bridges). This word is not found in a common dictionary book, but from the dictionary of Civil Engineering terms. It is simple but it has a very profound meaning and a different impact. It means when a blacktopping road is under construction, the gradient level of the road is carefully built up first in such a way that along the stretch of the road, the middle-line of the road is always built up slightly higher in a mild slope than its two-sides; and the two-sides are built slightly lower in gentle slope than the middle-line. So that whenever rains or flash-floods come, the waters easily flow to sides, and do not store in the middle of the road, or flow in the middle of the road like a river-bed. That is called “Kempering”. And along the stretch of a road where Kempering had been properly done; it is found those portions of the road last much longer. In order to have a desired lasting blacktopped road; while constructing a road, the Engineer-in-charge as well as the Contractor should strictly inspect, monitor and execute that the gradient level called “Kempering” is honestly followed and done first with the approved quality materials and necessary reinforcement. Only then, the surface blacktopping follows. The Engineer-in-charge and the Contractor as well must check and ensure at sites that along the road the water-ways are properly drained down and diverted into the drainages, and any blockade in the drainages are properly cleared. Water outlets even across the footpaths along the road-sides and water-ho4es into the drainages at regular intervals or wherever it is found necessary be provided. Materials: such as : stone-boulders, metals, gravels or coarse aggregate should be hard, strong and durable as approved by the Engineer.



  1. As we all do see, at many points or locations, a good number of roadside residents, in defence of their buildings, build up round their buildings, concrete demarcation mounds higher than the road levels, not allowing the water to flow into the drainages constructed at the foot of their buildings; thus, forcing and diverting the water to flow on the roads which brings severe erosions and damages to the roads. And it is seen, the erosions are much more serious on our blacktopped roads than any where else because of this mistake. This is to be strictly checked, corrected and stopped with strong legal action.
  2. Against the roadside residents who construct their buildings encroaching and narrowing the roads, necessary legal action should be promptly taken to stop and mend them.
  3. Random dumping of wastes or dug-earth into the drainages, and careless dumping of building materials or dug-earth on road-sides must not be allowed.
  4. Along the sides of the road, mounds/dumped earth found higher and blocking the flow of water into the drainages should be levelled till lower than the level of the middle road and its sides.
  5. In case of a damage done to the road: (i) by a private party/individual by cutting across the road in order to lay a drinking water pipeline, or (ii) by a Govt. Department in order to lay a cable-wire, a pipeline etc., all should have obtained legal permission and proper repairing must be redone. In such a case, the Municipal Council, or the Colony Panchayat, or the Department, or the Administration should not remain a dismayed mute spectators. No complain means no action.


The world weather forecasts on our TVs shows, the monsoons of North-east India are much more heavier, stronger and damaging than other parts of the plain worlds. It is not going to be lesser in the years to come. At home, we clearly see our blacktopped roads cannot withstand one full monsoon. More number of vehicles and heavier vehicles will be on our roads. We are to be strong.


I want to politely remind our esteemed Engineers to mind the word “Kempering” and its importance wherever a blacktopping road is under construction. I do believe our Engineers are second to none. If others can do, you also can do it, and you still can do better. Whenever, you are given such a work, do it as an Engineer, not like an ignorant layman.