Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration is now exploring using plastic waste in road construction and has started the process to study the potential after the central government built over 1 lakh kilometres of roads using plastic garbage.
According to the officials, the initiative aims to preserve biodiversity and reduce carbon footprints in the ecologically-vulnerable region of J&K, which has recently suffered from several natural disasters.
To analyse and create a plan for the use of waste plastic in the Public Activities (Roads and Building) Department’s macadamisation operations, the General Administrative Department (GAD) established an Inter-Departmental Committee.
According to a directive from Secretary to the Government Piyush Singla, the creation of an inter-departmental group to create a roadmap for the use of waste plastic in PW (R&B) Department macadamisation projects starting in the following fiscal year has been authorised.
Official sources said that the committee was in charge of properly taking into account environmental concerns while investigating the feasibility of employing waste plastic in road construction.
To appropriately utilise the material, which would otherwise not be recycled, the central government has been using plastic garbage in road construction.
One lakh kilometres of roads have already been built out of plastic waste. Nine tonnes of bitumen and one tonne of plastic debris were needed for every kilometre of road building.
This indicates that one tonne of bitumen, which costs roughly Rs 30,000, is saved for every kilometre of road.
Six to eight percent of the material in plastic roadways is plastic whereas 92 to 94 percent is bitumen.
In 2016, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that plastic waste would be used in road construction.
Since then, one lakh kilometres of roads in 11 states have been built using plastic garbage.
The amount would double in the current fiscal.
For the first time in 2018, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) put plastic waste on its roads. The MCG now requires the use of plastic debris in arterial road development.
Plastic waste has also been used on the 270-km Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. About 1.6 tonnes of plastic waste was used in the 2-km stretch of Delhi-Meerut highway news UP Gate. It has also been used in constructing the road connecting Dhaula Kuan to the airport in Delhi.