PWD Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday launched a pilot project to construct 100 metres of road using waste plastic mixed with bitumen.
Taking a leaf out of Meghalaya’s book, which constructed 1km of a road in Nongkynjang using plastic waste, the first-of-its-kind project in Assam was launched on the Kahilipara-Dakhingaon Don Bosco Road in the presence of the PWD officials.
The new construction method that mixes bitumen with plastic waste is expected to serve several purposes – from checking plastic waste and saving the natural environment to adding to road durability and reducing costs.
Sarma said, “This technology is suitable for Assam as we have heavy rainfall which damage roads. The project will help decrease environmental impact from plastic waste, reduce construction costs and build stronger and durable roads. If the pilot project is successful, we will apply this technology while constructing roads across the state.”
A study by a Guwahati NGO revealed that 22,000kg of plastic waste are generated here every day. The environment department estimated that only 60 per cent of this waste is recycled. The rest is deposited in garbage dumps or burnt, causing environment pollution.
Plastic pollution affects wildlife, marine life and their habitat while discarded plastic clogs drains, resulting in artificial floods.
Waste plastic bituminous mixture helps build stronger roads with better load-carrying capacity, resistance to rainwater and water stagnation, increased binding and better bonding of the mixture, reduction in pores and potholes, reduced cost of construction and insignificant maintenance costs, apart from no plastic waste disposal problems.
Replacement of bitumen by plastic waste will lead to a saving of around Rs 21,000 in cost of bitumen per km (single lane of 3.75 m width).
A central government order in November 2015 had made it mandatory for all road developers in the country to use waste plastic, along with bituminous mixes, for road construction. This is to help overcome the growing problem of plastic waste disposal in the country, reports The Telegraph.
The technology for this was developed by the Plastic Man of India, Rajagopalan Vasudevan, a professor of chemistry at Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai.