BHUBANESWAR: With the Centre aggressively pushing for use of green technology in construction of rural roads under its flagship programme, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Odisha has been given the highest target among States for the current financial year.
The National Rural Road Development Agency (NRRDA) of the Ministry of Rural Development has fixed a target of 3,000 km new road to be built using non-conventional materials such as waste plastic, cold mix, geo-textiles, fly ash, iron and copper slag in road construction.
Earlier, the Ministry while indicating a tentative allocation of Rs 1,800 crore as its share for the State had fixed a target to construct 8,715 km of road during 2019-20 financial year to provide an all-weather connectivity to 1,098 habitations.
In a recent communication, Director (Technical), NRRDA, BC Pradhan has requested the State Government to make adequate efforts for conversion of sanctioned projects from hot mix to cold mix/waste plastic technology.
If the State requires any change from hot mix to waste plastic or cold mix technology for the road projects already sanctioned for the current financial year, it can submit a proposal indicating the comparative cost and additional cost, if any, required, the letter stated.
As per the guidelines issued by the Ministry, all the States are required to propose minimum 15 per cent of total length of annual proposals under new technologies such as cement stabilisation, lime stabilisation, cold mix, waste plastics, cell filled concrete, panelled cement concrete pavement and fly ash.
However, the specifications have also been relaxed in respect of grading of materials for granular sub-base layer in order to encourage the usage of locally available and naturally occurring materials.
As the cold mix technology is cost-effective, the Ministry has been advising States to use it as an alternative to hot mix bituminous surface in construction of PMGSY roads. “As availability of fly-ash and iron slag is in abundance in the State, construction of road using these materials will be cheaper compared to hot mix technology,” official sources said.
The State Government topped the list in rural road construction in 2018-19 by completing 8,151 km roads against the annual target of 8,000 km. As many as 1,675 habitations were provided all weather connectivity.
The allocation of funds by the Centre for the current fiscal would be subject to upward/downward revision of the physical target keeping in view the pace of expenditure by the State and availability of funds, the sources said.