Govt ignoring cheap plastic for roads

Though it has been proven over the years that roads laid with a mixture of plastic and bitumen last longer, the state government has been investing in concrete roads, which cost more.

According to NGOs and officials from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and BBMP, Bengaluru generates 400 tonnes of garbage every day of which 12% is plastic and 80% of which is low grade. It costs Rs 10.4 crore to lay a kilometre of concrete road and Rs 4 crore for an asphalted road mixed with plastic.

Rasool Khan, director K K Polyflex, which laid plastic roads in Karnataka from 2002-14, said the government has halted the project. From 2002-2014, only 3,500 km of roads in Karnataka have been laid with plastic. The Bengaluru list includes parts of Ballari Road, Double Road, Lal Bagh Road, J C Road, ITC Flyover Road and Dickenson Road.

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah, in October, had directed the municipality and government to use plastic for roads. While BBMP engineers claim that plastic is being used, on the ground they prefer concrete.

M R Venkatesh, BBMP engineer-in-chief said plastic roads are being laid only in some places and emphasis is given to concrete roads. Though costly, concrete roads need no maintenance for 30 years. He agreed that managing plastic waste was another challenge.

KSPCB chairman Lakshman said that though the government and MSW rules allow plastic to be used in cement industries, it must stop since it is burnt at 1,000 degrees Celsius. Since hazardous gases are released, orders were issued to shift cement industries from Bengaluru to Kalaburgi.

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Govt ignoring cheap plastic for roads

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