BENGALURU: The use of plastic to lay city’s roads has been minimal in spite of such roads having a longer life. Another advantage of adopting this method is that it helps in disposal of plastic too.
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Engineer (Major Roads) S Somashekar said a length of 500km of roads in the city was built using plastic between 2013 and 2015, when he was in charge. He said such roads cost slightly more, but had a longer life. He mentioned Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road and the stretch from Nayandahalli to Silk Board as examples of such roads. “Both these roads were asphalted with plastic in 2009, and after that, they needed to be asphalted again only in 2016. That is a life a seven years, which is quite high.”
The firm K K Plastic Waste Management Private Ltd has a patent for the technology to use plastic for construction of roads, and has supplied plastic for most of BBMP’s projects since 2002. Its co-owner Rasool Khan claimed such roads had a much higher life than roads built without adding plastic. He said, “The added cost for such roads is nominal, about `2,000 per km. But contractors rarely opt for plastic. Wide usage of plastic would even reduce the problem of disposal of plastic waste, which decomposes very slowly.” Plastic has been mentioned as a component in the schedule prepared for BBMP roads.
The state having the highest length of roads with plastic mixed in them is Tamil Nadu, with almost 10,000 km of such roads.
In March this year, member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee for Solid Waste and national expert of Swachh Bharat Mission Almitra Patel had written to BBMP and KSPCB advocating the use of plastic. In her mail, she mentions that as per guidelines by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, every city with a population of above 5 lakh has to build plastic roads up to 50 km. In addition, Maharashtra has mandated plastic roads for 10% of all their asphalt roads of any size.