Gurugram: Plastic roads to come up in Sushant Lok-1, Palam Vihar next monthUpdated: Oct 26, 2019, 19:17 IST
Gurugram The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) will be constructing two more plastic roads in the city, at Sushant Lok-1 and Palam Vihar, officials said on Saturday.
The development comes 10 months after the MCG constructed its first plastic road, a 100-metre stretch in Sector 51, on December 19 last year, on a pilot basis.
“We waited till monsoon to assess the effect of waterlogging on the plastic road’s surface in Sector 51. There has been no problem with the prototype. Rather, the road has remained sturdy and durable. Hence, we are confident of replicating the use of plastic in all future road constructions and, the Sushant Lok 1 and Palam Vihar stretches are first on the list, with work expected to start from next month,” said Raman Sharma, chief engineer, MCG.
According to MCG officials, six kilometres of arterial stretches will be built in Palam Vihar and four kilometres of arterial stretches in Sushant Lok-1, with the use of plastic at a cumulative cost of ₹15 crores.
The two colonies were taken over by the MCG in March.
Sharma said that plastic roads are more durable than bituminous roads as they do not allow water to stagnate, thereby, making it difficult for potholes to form on them. He further said that the use of plastic in constructing roads is also approved by the Indian Road Congress (IRC).
MCG officials said that they have a plastic waste collection centre at Begumpur Khatola, from where private contractors can procure plastic at ₹25 per kilogram. Around 6-8% of the bituminous road consists of plastic waste, said officials.
The process of using plastic in road construction starts with shredding any form of plastic waste (barring black polythene, which is not eco-friendly), heating it to 165 degrees Celsius and mixing the hot plastic with hot bitumen and spreading it over the top layer of the road surface.
Last November, officials from the MCG’s engineering wing visited the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and learnt the technique of using plastic in road construction. They also carried a sample of the plastic road back to Gurugram for testing purposes.
A month later, an internal seminar was held at the Mini Secretariat for all staff member of MCG’s engineering wing with Dr Sunil Bose, former head of flexible pavement division, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), to understand the concept of using plastic waste.
Sewa Ram, an urban transport systems design expert and a faculty member at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), said that plastic roads are more sturdy than bituminous roads and have a lower maintenance cost.
“The high resistance to water makes plastic roads more durable. They can last for longer periods, in comparison to bituminous roads. A plastic road can easily last for eight to 10 years while a bitumen road usually has a maximum range of three to four years, thus, making bringing its overall maintenance much cheaper,” said Ram.
Ram, however, said that plastic roads should only be laid when there is no utility-related work planned in the short term and also at locations where there is no drain or water pipeline underground.
“Unlike bitumen roads, plastic roads cannot be excavated in patches and replaced. They are difficult to drill through and need to be excavated completely. The MCG, hence, needs to be certain that no new power line, gas pipeline, water or drain line needs to be added below the road surface. In addition, they need to be certain that the underground water or sewerage lines are not susceptible to leakage, which would damage the road surface,” said Ram.
Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said that the sample size of plastic roads used across the country is extremely low and the ecological effects can only be ascertained properly upon extensive usage.
“Plastic roads provide a solution to the government and public bodies to clear landfills by transporting waste and utilising them for constructing roads. If it is confirmed that ecological damages, such as leachate, are caused due to the presence of micro-fibres in plastic roads, then the entire scheme will be a double-edged sword. However, these can only be established once the practice of using plastic roads is done on a large scale, and subsequent safety tests can substantiate ecological damages,” said Chowdhury.