Geotech for road could be Rs2,128 crore by 2012
The 21,000 km National Highway upgradation programme presents a Rs2128 crore potential by 2010 according to the Bhupendra Singh, joint secretary, Ministry of Textiles. The country has a road network of 33 lakh km, of which National Highways, State Highways and Expressways account for 70,548, 131,98 km and 200 km, respectively.
Under the Bharat Nirman component of Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) 24,000 km of roads will be laid in 2009-10 and Geotech will have a market potential Rs 868 crore, said the joint secretary (Textiles). The Government will spent US$ 78.5 billion for development of road infrastructure during the XIth Five Year Plan Period and technical textiles industry shall shape up to exploit the potential, he added.
The Ministry has accepted that Geotech material can be used in construction of highway, however it is for industry to convince the developer about the cost effectiveness and availability of desired material with specified properties and time line, said C Kandasamy, chief engineer (standard & research-roads), Ministry of Roads Transport & Highways.
Technical Textiles products used in geotechnical applications pertaining to civil engineering like roads, pavements, slope stabilization and embankment protection, rail-track bed stabilization, etc. are called Geo Textiles. Some of the examples of Geotech products are geogrids, geonets, geomembranes and geocomposites etc.
Globally, it has been proved that Geotech is a very cost effective and versatile material for ground modification and stabilization. It helps in providing long life to roads and highways and that too with least maintenance cost. However, in India the use of these materials remain inadequate and far below the potential despite the fact that India has the second largest road network in the world.