BENGALURU : The recent pothole menace that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahangara Palike (BBMP) had to tackle after orders from the High Court, had citizens wondering if the issue would actually be resolved. Some roads, such as Nandidurga Road, Cunningham Road and Miller’s Road, have from just a few to zero potholes, and interestingly, these were renovated in 2014 and 2017 using plastic waste.
“We had a pact with the BBMP from 2004 to 2014 until they decided not to take the project further,” said K Ahmed Khan, MD of KK Plastic Waste Management Limited, which is said to be the only supplier of plastic mix for the asphalting of roads.
“The BBMP has banned the use of recyclable plastic, but the most dangerous kinds are the pre-packed containers, as they are multi-layered and cannot be recycled. Now, BBMP is just collecting all the garbage and sending it to dumping yards outside the city,” Ahmed added.
The company, owned by brothers Rasool and Ahmed, was also given permission by the Central government to continue constructing plastic roads, but the state government and corporation didn’t carry it forward. “The city generates 400 tonnes of plastic per day. Across the city, 15,000 tonnes can be used to cover roads. This can also be extended outside the city,” said Rasool. In addition, the company also pays `8 per kg to ragpickers. “No BBMP money would be used for this,” he said.
Traffic expert MN Sreehari said that plastic provides flexibility, and that scratches seen on pavements may also reduce. “Plastic is more durable. Currently, the BBMP is only using a chemical and stone aggregate mixture, which is easy money for them,” he said.
Last year, the chief minister had made it mandatory to use a plastic mix for road construction, following which, BBMP’s chief engineer (Major Road Infrastructure) S Somashekar was supplied 130 tonnes by the company. “We had used it for the major roads in the city. But for other roads, zonal chief engineers are in charge,” said Somashekar.
Parameshwariah, BBMP chief engineer of Yelahanka and Mahadevapura, said that only 7 - 8% of the roads in the city are made from plastic waste. BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad and Special Commissioner (Projects) Manoj Kumar Meena were unavailable for comment.