BENGALURU: In a major eco-friendly initiative aimed at using plastic waste, the Bengaluru unit of the National Highway of India (NHAI) on Wednesday completed laying a 600m stretch on the Bengaluru-Hyderabad highway using plastic waste. This is in line with the repeated push given by the Central government to use plastic waste in road construction in the country after it was made mandatory in 2015.
Director of the Project Implementation Unit of NHAI, Bengaluru, S P Somashekar told The New Indian Express, “For the first time, we have used 4% of plastic waste along with the bitumen and crushed aggregate used in road construction. It has been done as overlay work at a service road on NH-44 in Peresandra village, near Chikkaballapur. While 300m of the road was laid last week, we completed another 300m this week.”
This service road is part of the 64km four-lane project from Avati to the Andhra-Karnataka border. “One overlay (tarring) for the road was made in 2009 and it is the second overlay being done now,” he said.
NHAI plans to lay another 4 to 5km on this stretch in a similar fashion. One tonne of plastic waste costing Rs 30,000 was secured from a private firm which makes chips using plastic waste.
“We are not looking at any economical gains. It is being only done as an eco-friendly initiative. The cost difference in utilising bitumen and plastic waste is not much, with bitumen costing Rs 35,000 a tonne,” Somashekar added.
The feedback and impact of these roads would be assessed for some time. “If found to be good, more of bitumen can be replaced with plastic waste in future. At present, 50kg of bitumen is used for a tonne of plastic waste. This can be reduced in future and replaced with more of plastic waste,” he said.
NHAI regional officer R K Survyavanshi said this was in line with the Central government’s emphasis on creating avenues to utilise tonnes of plastic waste generated across the country.