GHMC rolls out plastic road experiment

Hyderabad, March 31: Plastic roads have made a foray in the city, with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) laying out a plastic-bitumen stretch at NGO’s Colony in the BN Reddy Nagar locality of LB Nagar.

On an experimental basis, the GHMC went in for more stretches, costing about Rs 20 lakh, with the help of the Bangalore-based KK Plastic Waste Management Ltd (KKPWM) a few days ago.

The company has developed patented technology that turns plastic waste into a polyblend that can be used in roadlaying. The Indian Road Congress (IRC) and the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) have validated the technology.

Similar plastic-bitumen roads will be laid shortly near the camp office of the Chief Minister, at Begumpet and the Necklace Road-NTR Marg stretch.

More such roads are in the offing as they are water-resistant and, unlike BT roads, do not bleed during summer.

Whereas BT roads are susceptible to extensive monsoon damage, plastic roads have proved resilient, GHMC officials told Express.

Not only have such roads in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai withstood the vagaries of weather, they do not have the slightest pitting.

Plastic, they further said, reduces environmental pollution besides doubling road durability. It also enhances the binding capacity of bitumen which enables the roads to bear higher loads, thereby decreasing fatigue and enhancing road life.

For every kilometre of road, around two tonnes of plastic is required. The cost of the road thus increases marginally but is compensated by the durability and eco-friendly attributes.

The process starts with the shredding of waste plastic which is then mixed with hot bitumen and other additives to form aggregates.

The final step involves carpeting, as in the case of usual roads. Since the plastic is only shredded, and not burnt, the process eliminates chances of release of toxic gases into the atmosphere.