If a local product sells like a hot cake in other places, it is usually at the back of a pretty strong demand at home.
But this is not the case with K K Plastic Waste Management Ltd, which sells plastic mix for asphalting roads.
The Bengaluru-based company is getting a flurry of inquiries from across the country and overseas since the plastic mix adds to the durability of the roads and has been recommended by the Indian Road Congress.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, on the other hand, has virtually overlooked the product for city roads.
“It is not that I’m not getting any business from the BBMP now. When my own place is riddled with potholes, which even the high court is questioning, I am compelled to assist those seeking my product from outside,” the company’s co-founder Rasool Khan says.
In the past three years, the company managed to supply just 120 tonnes of plastic to the BBMP’s road projects.
Supply to other states
The Palike’s contractors have stopped approaching the company for the plastic mix while supplies to states like Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh have seen an increase.
An Odisha company wants to invest in a start-up with similar technology while Khan’s company has been getting inquiries from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
Khan has also been receiving emails, asking about the use of the plastic mix from Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Costa Rica, South Africa, Nigeria and Australia. The product generates interest because the plastic mix is effective.
The use of the plastic mix in asphalting was introduced to BBMP engineers in 2002. Following this, the company signed a pact with the civic body to supply the plastic mix (to be blended with bitumen) from 2004 to 2014.
When the MoU expired in 2014, the number of contractors asking for the plastic mix has steadily dwindled. Khan’s company did not supply for the road projects inside the city, except for those under the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana, the Karnataka Municipal Reforms Programme (KMRP) and the National Highways.
The supply of the plastic mix to the contractors was the maximum in 2013-14, following which the figure of 120 tonnes was achieved only in 2017.
The BBMP’s former engineer-in-chief R Jai Prasad says there is no question of doubting the Indian Road Congress’ recommendation of the plastic mix for durable roads.