THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It is the absence of proper management and maintenance of roads and allied infrastructure that gives riders a back-breaking experience. But now a change is on the cards as the Kerala Public Works Department (PWD) is moving forward with a new approach in road construction.
The PWD, which has embarked on a policy of ‘new times, new construction’, not only assures to follow international standards and modern techniques in road construction but also ensures roads that require minimum maintenance and that lasts long.“The PWD has started to think beyond bitumen roads. Innovative and technology-based methods like natural rubberised bitumen, polymer-modified bitumen, bitumen mixture containing shredded plastic, an environment-friendly technique like cold in-place recycling and FaL-G (Fly ash-Lime-Gypsum) is now being followed in road construction,” said Jeevaraj M N, chief engineer, PWD Roads and Bridges and Administration.
According to him, in addition to the same, the Public Works Department is also exploring the possibility of utilising coir textile and soil stabilisation technology in road construction.“When this government came to power, we were provided with the instruction that the state highways and district roads will have to be reconstructed with bitumen macadam and bitumen concrete (BM and BC). The use of technology is not limited to road construction. In the case of bridge construction, we have embraced integrated continuous slab technique. Thus we were ensuring that roads and bridges being constructed lasts long and requires minimum maintenance,” adds Jeevaraj.
Earlier, in July 2016, the PWD had organised a workshop for around 120 engineers to make them aware about modern technologies being followed in road construction in neighbouring states. The workshop which then had sessions handled by experts from Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications And Geo-Informatics, National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation and National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad, had made the engineers aware about ways of road construction in areas with heavy rainfall, use of electronic technology for road construction and others.
According to Jeevaraj, other than that of conducting workshops, the Public Works Department had also organised two editions of Engineers’ Congress, which invites engineers from other states and offers a platform for them to share ideas. He also adds that the department is now working towards the conduct of the third edition of Engineers’ Congress.