To decrease pollution caused through plastics, the public works department (PWD) is using plastic wastes to construct roads in state.
In last four years, the department has constructed more than 61,000km long road network of which more than 15,000km had been laid with the help of plastic wastes. “There are essentially two benefits for these types of roads. First, the plastic wastes get mixed with the asphalt. So, it helps to reduce the pollution caused by the normal plastic wastes. Second, research proved that these types of roads have ‘extra life’ – at least 10% more than the normal roads,” said a senior PWD engineer.
Engineers claimed that such practice to build roads with plastic wastes would increase in future in Rajasthan. This is primarily because the government is promoting the cause. Second, these wastes are expected to get available in the state itself, very soon. “For years, our contractors had imported such wastes from vendors outside the state. But recently the pollution department has taken initiatives to produce such wastes in Rajasthan itself. So, we would also start using the ‘made in Rajasthan’ products. Hopefully, it would increase the use of plastic wastes to build roads across the state,” said Sanjiv Mathur, chief engineer (Road) of the department.
At present an Ajmer based firm and a few NGOs elsewhere in the state have started production of these wastes. Officials stated, such wastes had been used in building all three types of roads PWD builds – Other district roads, Major District roads and even the state highways. In fact, a huge amount of such wastes had been used for building roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana.
“We had started using such wastes only from the present phase of PMGSY. The time period is so less that we cannot establish the positive results of this products yet. But in some other places, like Madhya Pradesh, the result had been positive,” said Sunil Jai Singh chief engineer (PMGSY) of PWD.Under the Centre’s PMGSY the government had build 7,200 km long roads using around 4,000 metric tonne of plastic wastes.