New Town road plastic waste rule
The asphalt to be used in repair or construction of roads in New Town has to be mixed with plastic waste, the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has decided in an attempt to reduce the volume of such waste.
Plastic waste collected from the township’s houses, offices and eateries has to be shredded and added to the bitumen/asphalt that will be used to repair or lay roads, said an engineer of the NKDA, the agency that looks after the civic amenities of the township.
“Plastic has good water-resistant properties. The lifespan of a road increases if the mix used to build it contains plastic that has been melted down partially. Also, plastic has binding properties and hold on to stone chips, so it minimises the chances of development of potholes,” the engineer said.
A stretch of the road from the Akankha crossing near Eco Park till the bus stop in front of the housing complexes in Action Area II will be relaid using this technique. “The stretch is nearly 2km long and the entire surface will be relaid,” the engineer said.
NKDA chairman Debashis Sen said they had made it mandatory to use plastic in road building to reduce plastic in the landfill sites. Reduction of plastic in landfill sites will prevent leaching and deposit of microplastics in the soil.
“Plastic waste poses a challenge in terms of disposal, yet it is the most commonly found item when it comes to waste management. We have decided to use shreds of plastic in road laying. Even if a small percentage (of plastic waste) can be disposed of, it will be a great boon for us,” said Sen.
The Indian Roads Congress guidelines state plastic waste weighing about six per cent of the weight of the bitumen can be used in the mix for surfacing roads. The plastic has to be cleaned and shredded before use.
The Telegraph has reported how NKDA had laid a 400m-long stretch near City Centre II in 2019 with a mix of bitumen and plastic as a pilot project.
The road was monitored by a team of engineers and after results were found satisfactory, one more stretch, in Action Area II, was relaid using that technique.
Delhi has several roads that have been paved with plastic, along with other materials. Plastic waste was used for the first time to pave roads in the national capital in 2008.