Pune: Activists and experts have urged citizens to try experimental techniques to improve road quality in the city, which is increasingly riddled with potholes and eroding surfaces.
One such technique uses plastic waste during road works. Activists said Pune Municipal Corporation should follow in the footsteps of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, which has made reusing plastic waste for road construction compulsory. PMC officials said they would encourage plastic reuse and plan to increase its use.
“Finishing just a few stretches of road won’t help. Citizens should ensure that adequate research and preparatory work is done, ”said Vivek Velankar of Sajag Nagrik Manch.
He said the city government should oversee road excavations and repairs even if the roads are made more durable with plastic garbage.
“The instructions of the state are being followed. PMC has reused plastic for road construction works, mainly for larger thoroughfares. We will also be exploring the possibility of using plastic waste for smaller projects. We are looking for technical know-how in order to use such innovative solutions for the creation of better roads and the extensive reuse of plastic ”, said the other community commissioner Kunal Khemnar.
“The use of plastic in road construction has proven itself. Organizations like the BMC and the Public Works Department (PWD) have used it extensively, ”said Shirish Phadtare, an expert in plastics recycling.
According to PMC, plastic in various forms makes up almost 5% of municipal waste and is naturally toxic. Because of its poor biodegradability, it poses a significant environmental risk. In order to contain this problem, tests have been carried out to check whether plastic waste can be productively reused in road construction, officials said.
According to experts, around 4-6 kg of plastic with around 100 kg of bitumen are used for road construction. Studies show that adding around 5-10% plastic significantly improves the stability, strength, fatigue life and other desirable properties of bituminous mixes. This leads to improved longevity and road performance.