Monday, April 12

West Bengal: Howrah takes green way to beat plastic pollution

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Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) has followed in the footsteps of Hidco to build Bengal’s second green road. Work on the 300m road, laid with plastic, was completed within the civic body premises on Monday. New Town was the first township in the state to use plastic for developing a stretch.

“We executed the pilot project at a cost of Rs 25 lakh. We will build three more roads in Howrah town this year,” said HMC commissioner Bijin Krishna. Over 1km stretch close to City Centre II in New Town has been laid with plastic. A Hidco official said, “Experts found the condition of the stretch fine. Given the result, four more roads in New Town will be laid with plastic.”

Civil engineer Ram Ratan Chawdhary, who was in charge of the HMC project, said, “We used 10,000tonnes plastic granules and 800tonnes bitumen to build this road. The amount of bitumen is much less than what is required for a conventional road of this length. The most important benefit of a green road is that it will never develop potholes. The construction is also less polluting than usual. The load-bearing capacity of this road is 10 times more than that of a conventional road. This apart, construction cost of a green road is 8% less than usual. A road laid with plastic is more durable and will undergo less wear and tear than a regular tar road.”

According to the commissioner, single-use plastic is a major problem in a town like Howrah. “These can’t be recycled. At best, the recycling process ends with granules. Such plastic is invariably dumped in drains that damages the town’s drainage system. From now on, we will collect single-use plastic and convert them to plastic granules, which will be used for roads.”

In its press release, HMC stated, “Single use plastic items like shopping bags and foam packaging are ideal raw material for green roads. Impossible to recycle, they are a menace… But urban plastic roads are still a rarity in India. Howrah Municipal Corporation is a pioneer and an early adopter of the technology in building plastic roads from waste material. A recent road safety report by WHO found that 17% of world’s traffic fatalities occur in India with crumbling roads partly responsible for the high death toll. Plastic roads will not lead to formation of potholes and, thus, prevent accidents.”

 

Source: Times of India

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