Municipal Council initiates road construction using plastic waste

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
13 Aug 2017

An order issued by the government in November 2015 made it mandatory for road developers to use waste plastic along with bituminous mixes for road construction to overcome the growing problem of disposal of plastic waste in India's urban centres. Road developers are now required to use waste plastic along with hot mixes  for constructing bitumen roads within 50 km of periphery of any city that has a population of over five lakh. In its guidelines for developers, the government  order said that in case of non-availability of waste plastic, the developer has to seek the approval of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway for constructing only bitumen roads. This is to help overcome the growing problem of plastic waste disposal in India. The technology for this was developed by the ‘Plastic Man’ of India, Prof Rajagopalan Vasudevan, Professor of Chemistry at Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai.
For more than two  years, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has witnessed no adherence to the government diktat, but now the Municipal Council has initiated measures to use plastic garbage, which now is commonly seen around everywhere and has started causing several problems, for developmental works. To begin with, the Solid Waste Management Unit of Port Blair Municipal has started development of an internal road within the premises of the civic agency using plastic waste.
Speaking to EOI, the Executive Engineer of Solid Waste Management Division, Mr Avinash Kumar Singh said, “plastic waste clogs drains, causing floods. It chokes animals which eat plastic bags, etc. Plastic does not decompose, but has today become an integral part of all human requirements, posing serious threat to the environment.” To deal with the challenge, our team led by the Assistant Engineer, Mr Abdul Wahab, Junior Engineer, Uma Mahesh has thought of using plastic for road works of the Council. As an experimental measure, plastic is being used for developing a path inside the Municipal Council office.  In the mixture containing 620 kilos of bitumen, eight percent of waste plastic has been mixed for the work. Plastic has been shredded to 60 microns before melting and then mixed with the bitumen. Roads constructed using bitumen has life for around two years, while those containing plastic is expected to last for at least three  years, informed Mr Singh thanking the Superintending Engineer, Mr AK Paul and Junior Engineer, Mr Nadeem for extending full support for the initiative.