Ever heard of Plastic Roads!
Team PeRGo achieved yet another milestone in fulfilling its objectives. This time in the field of Environmental Protection. PeRGo succeeded in securing court orders for the use of Plastic Waste in Road Construction – A first for Himachal Pradesh!
Due to the exemplary initiative taken by the team and its consistent and dedicated effort in following up this idea to its fruition, the Hon’ble High Court of Himachal Pradesh finally directed the State and its concerned departments to frame a policy for the use of plastic waste in road construction across the state of HP and to begin its implementation at the earliest.
Environmental protection is a matter of serious concern. Over recent decades, due to various human activities and the poor management of our eco-systems the problems related to environmental degradation have increased manifold. The situation has reached a stage of utmost urgency and however much we try; we cannot undo the destruction that has already been inflicted. We can, however, control further deterioration and there is need to work for the cause on a war footing now,
else it might be too late.
Talking of plastic pollution, around 420 million tonnes of plastic is produced globally each year and most of this plastic ends up polluting eco-systems around the world. As the toll of plastic pollution on humans and wild life becomes more apparent, countries, companies and individuals around the globe are working to find new methods and technologies to curb this menace.
Instances of Use of Waste Plastic in Road Construction
In keeping with this objective, re-cycled plastic is now increasingly being used to repave roads, the world over. Roads made from recycled plastic can cut down heavily on plastic pollution. Dr. R Vasudevan, a Chemistry Professor from Madurai, had patented the process of use of waste plastic in road construction. There were reports in Indian dailies of the actual use of such plastic waste being done in construction of roads in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and various cities like
Pune, Chennai and Mumbai. In fact, these plastic roads have proven to be tougher and lesser prone to wear and tear than the regular roads.
PeRGo Takes the Initiative
PeRGo, by way of being a responsible society deeply committed to work for causes that impact the public at large, takes environmental issues very seriously. Protection of environment is one of its major objectives.
When reports of the use of waste plastic in road construction started to appear in newspapers, team PeRGo took prompt note of this fact.
Fore-seeing the far reaching benefits of this new technology, it was decided by PeRGo that the High Court of HP be approached by way of a PIL for the adoption of such technology in the State of HP. Filing of Petition in High Court of HP
Accordingly, on 14.5.2018, a petition (People for Responsible Governance vs Union of India and others) was filed in The High Court of HP, praying for directions to the State to utilise this latest technology so that waste plastic could be used for the construction of roads in the state. This would also solve the problem of plastic waste disposal, which otherwise is a very difficult process.
The State of HP initially objected to the idea stating that waste plastic was not available in the State.
It was unbelievable! Every nallah, stream, roadsides of small towns or even villages could be seen strewn with waste plastic, there being no reliable waste disposal system in place. However, with the readiness of Central Road Research Institute of India to provide the technology for use of waste plastic in road construction and consistent and repeated directions issued by High Court of HP Shimla, the State eventually came out with a policy.
In compliance to a direction dated 28.11.2018, as passed by the Hon’ble High Court, the issue involved in the civil writ petition was examined at various levels of the Govt. and after due deliberations the state framed a policy that was notified on 1.10.2019. This policy contains detailed guidelines for use of non- recyclable plastic waste and all kinds of single use plastic in road construction. Not only this, the policy also contains detailed guidelines for use of waste plastic for generation of energy!
The HP State Public Works Department has assured to act in accordance with the policy guidelines and is in the process of identifying stretches of roads within the jurisdiction of the state, for renewal coat using plastic waste in bituminous concrete.
A pilot project has already been executed on the Taradevi – Gumber road in the Shimla division, in the year 2019. Thus, the final orders passed by the Court and the consistent effort by team PeRGo have paved the way for the use of this environmental friendly technology in the state of HP. It is hoped that this small contribution will go a long way towards a better tomorrow with cleaner environment!