How govt plans to use solid waste for highway construction?

The ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) has proposed to use inorganic solid waste in construction of highway road projects, following the success of pilot projects.

(Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times)

According to an official memorandum, to resolve the problem of disposal of urban solid waste and limited land availability for construction of embankment, MoRTH through NHAI has undertaken two pilot projects for utilisation of inert material which is one of the major components of municipal solid waste.

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“In view of successful utilisation of inert material in construction of embankment, MoRTH has decided to plan alternative use of this generated solid waste in highway road projects in compliance to solid waste management rules,” the memorandum added.

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The first pilot project has been carried out in Delhi-NCR on Urban Extension road and DND Sohna spur of Delhi-Mumbai Expressway.

In the second pilot project, inert solid waste material has been used on Ahmedabad-Dholera Expressway.

In both cases, construction of embankment has been carried out as per laid down procedure with strict quality control.

The office memorandum noted that the disposal of solid waste generated on a daily basis is a major environmental challenge being faced in urban areas across the country. As per rough assessment, around 10,000 hectares of land is locked in dump sites.

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Due to limited land availability, these landfill sites are on verge to attain maximum capacity and pose serious environmental and health hazards, it added

As per the draft document, MoRTH has taken up large scale development of highways including greenfield projects across the country. The construction of embankment of highways requires huge amounts of soil which at times is required to be procured from agriculture fields.

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It noted that there is a need for sustainable construction of highways which have minimum impact on environment and ecology in procurement of materials.

The document said there is a need for utilisation of processed inorganic solid waste in construction of embankments on highways and other roads in the country.

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