In a bid to understand the economic viability of using geotextiles or geosynthetics in paving of roads, the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) is set to conduct a study in rural areas of Gujarat, among other states.
Geotextiles or geosynthetics is use of specialty fabrics or technical textiles in construction of roads, and river or lake embankment, among others. The study will be undertaken post a signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) between CRRI and the National Rural Road Development Authority (NRRDA) as part of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
“This is a demonstration project to show how geotextiles can be used in upgrading rural roads,” said Satish Pandey, scientist – flexible pavement division at CRRI.
According to Pandey, the project will involve study of various road engineering methods using technical textiles like geo textiles in rural areas. Pandey stated that there is a need to not only study the economic lifecycle and cost analysis of using geotextiles in road pavement, especially in rural areas but also provision of standardised designs.
“Also, most of the states do not have geotextiles as part of their schedule of rates (SOR) which is a list of materials that could be used in road construction along with their respective price list. Hence, there is so far no data available on how much would geotextiles cost in use of road construction and how much cost effective the method can be,” Pandey added.
CRRI will act as the research and monitoring body for the project which will be executed in association with state technical agencies. Apart from Gujarat, the study will be conducted in states of Maharashtra, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.
While the sample rural roads are yet to be identified, Pandey said that depending on availability and soil quality of the sub-grid, the demonstration project will be conducted on road stretch ranging between 300-500 metres and 3-4 kms.