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Use waste for building rural roads: Government

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The Rural development ministry has asked state governments to start using waste material and locally produced fibres to build rural roads-a cost-cutting measure that is seen giving a fillip to the local economy. The plan, to be implemented under the government's Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana scheme to improve connectivity of villages, is expected to result in savings of 5%-30%, according to a senior official. Construction of rural road costs anything between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 80 lakh per km. While jute and coir will be used for strengthening roads in the northeast, waste materials like steel slag, sludge and slurry will be used in industrially developed states like Maharashtra and Karnataka. "Traditional materials like stone aggregate and sand will not be available for long," the official told ET, adding, "To begin with, we have asked states to ensure that at least 10% of their rural roads should be made out of waste material or locally produced fibres like jute and coir." According to the official, experiments have shown that roads made of such material are successful in rural areas as they have low traffic volume.
Over the last few years, 55-60 roads aggregating about 500 km in length have been built in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat using waste materials. Similar roads are expected to come up in Kerala and Mizoram this year. Although a third-party performance report of these roads is awaited, the rural development ministry has gone ahead and notified its guidelines for laying such roads. In the 12th Five-year Plan, the Centre has earmarked about Rs 1,20,000 crore for building of rural roads. According to latest data, about 1.67 lakh unconnected habitations are eligible for coverage under the Gram Sadak Yojana, which involves construction of about 3.71 lakh km of roads.
Source: Economic Times

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