Plastic creates hopes of better roads

Bumpy rides and potholes may soon be things of the past if the Chennai Corporation's new initiative to re-lay roads with plastics proves successful.

The civic body will commence re-laying of plastic roads on all bus routes and interior areas in the city, from January.

Typically, one-km stretch of a single lane will consume a tonne of plastic waste. The agency plans to have plastic waste collected from residents for use in the bitumen mix to be used to re-lay roads. Plastic will amount to about 10 per cent of the mix.

According to Corporation officials, the decision to lay plastic roads in all zones has been taken following studies that showed such roads last longer even in wet conditions. The Corporation has taken into account the case of Jambulingam Street in Nungambakkam, where such a road was laid seven years ago. The road has survived several monsoons.

Those who frequent the locality also vouch for the good quality of the road. “Jambulingam Street is the best I have ever seen in the city so far. When many other roads in the city got damaged, this plastic road has remained in good condition for many years,” said N.Chidambaram, an autorickshaw driver in the locality.

This also proves more viable for the civic body, as 10 per cent of the cost incurred on the bitumen mix would be saved.

Plastic waste collected from residents would be sufficient, and is expected to encourage them to segregate waste at source. All 200 ward offices would have facilities for collection of plastic waste from the residents and large shredders would be installed in locations across the city.

Many stretches along 501.1-km of bus route roads in the expanded city were damaged in the recent rains. Several of 17,643 interior roads were similarly affected.

List of roads

The list of such roads is being readied. After the next spell of northeast monsoon rains expected very soon, the number of damaged roads is likely to be finalised. Soon after, in January, work on plastic roads would begin.

A total of 10 shredders would be procured by the civic body and the first one would be installed in two days.

The initiative is likely to improve the overall quality of roads.

President of Tamil Nadu Plastics Manufacturers Association S. Ganesh said use of plastic waste is ideal for re-laying roads.

Shredded plastic waste strengthens the bonding of bitumen with blue metal. A.Veerarghavan, professor at the transportation division of the Civil Engineering Department at IIT-Madras, said the collection, cleaning and shredding of plastic waste may be challenging for the civic body. “Use of plastics for re-laying of roads will be cumbersome, but it may reduce environmental pollution caused by plastic waste.”

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 9:59:59 PM |

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