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Your Space: Up to 70 per cent of old, damaged road material can, and should be reused

Indian Road Congress has also drawn attention to clause 517 of ministry of road transport and highways which specifies “recycling of bituminous pavement” both hot and cold processes which reduces the rise in road level and conserves the costly materials like aggregates and bitumen, says DVR Rao.

pune Updated: Nov 05, 2017 15:12 IST
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Your Space,letters
Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation used JetPatchers on experimental basis to repair potholes on Nashik Phata road.(HT PHOTO)

With the increasing stress on infrastructure and road connectivity, unprecedented volume of work is being carried out on road building and road maintenance. The agencies responsible for this massive construction are the governments: Central, state, municipal and local self-governing bodies. They are also responsible for the unnecessary and avoidable destruction of hills. Perhaps, that is the reason for the governments not taking any action on the destructive effects on hills and environment.

Here are some little known facts: Asphalt roads are cheaper to construct than concrete roads —

Asphalt roads give a smoother and less noisy ride compared to concrete roads

Tyres get heated to a much lesser extent on asphalt roads and hence give longer life.

Asphalt roads in Europe and North America have a life that is not less than 15 years and usually goes up to 25 years.

Asphalt roads developing potholes and getting washed out with rains is entirely and exclusively due to faulty construction.

And most importantly, up to 70% of old, damaged material can be reused after cleaning. (This has been confirmed by MV Patil, retired chief engineer, Maharashtra PWD).

Indian Road Congress has also drawn attention to clause 517 of ministry of road transport and highways which specifies “recycling of bituminous pavement” both hot and cold processes which reduces the rise in road level and conserves the costly materials like aggregates and bitumen.

Wanton Destruction

The wanton destruction of the environment is due to the nationwide practice of not scrapping the damaged surface of the asphalt road and reusing the bulk of the salvaged material, that is, the stone, sand and asphalt.

Due to corrupt practices, the roads get potholed and damaged in just one or two years. This damage makes it necessary to carry out repairs and or resurfacing frequently. This needs stone and asphalt which would otherwise have been unnecessary if the roads were built to proper standards.

While resurfacing, the damaged carpeting is not scraped. This results in need for a) 100% new stone, sand and asphalt and b) raising of the road surface by the thickness of the new carpeting.

This is direct violation of Development Control Rule 17.1, applied for building activity, which mandates that the plinth of a building must be 45 cm above the surface of the road. Most often this practice results in rainwater entering buildings and homes thus causing inconvenience and extra costs to the owners of the buildings, who are never compensated by the road building government organisations.

Finally, there are instances where resurfacing is done on perfectly good, smooth, hard and undamaged road surface.

All the above three instances need 100% stone resulting in totally avoidable excessive quarrying of hills. This is because the old surface is not scraped and the scraped material is not reused saving up to 70% of the material requirement and retaining the road surface at its original level.

The conservation of the environment and saving hills is far more important than the costs involved in reusing scraped material.

The only people who stand to benefit by this corrupt practice are the quarry owners and stone crushers. This wasteful practice must stop.

DVR Rao

First Published: Nov 05, 2017 15:08 IST