KMC forms panel to explore alternatives for use of hot mix
Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Saturday formed a committee to explore the ways of using environment-friendly material as an alternative to the hot mix for road construction.
The move on the part of the civic body was triggered after the eastern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned the use of hot mix plants in the city forcing the KMC to down shutters of its two units situated at Palmer Bazar and Goragacha Road near Taratala.
"The main objective of the committee will be to devise means of road safety and quality in the city keeping in mind the environment-friendly factor. There will be representatives from the KMC, state Public Works Department (PWD), Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) and experts from IIT Kharagpur in this Road Advisory Quality and Environment Committee," said Ratan Dey, Member Mayor-in-Council (Roads).
All the major stakeholders of the state government who are involved in the maintenance of city roads like PWD, KMDA and HRBC were present in the meeting. Dey informed the details of the meeting to Mayor Firhad Hakim soon after the interaction.
The committee will be sitting twice a month and team members of IIT Kharagpur will play the role of technical support staff in providing suggestions on environment-friendly alternatives of hot mix in the context of city roads and also on overall improvement and longevity of the stretches.
"Maintenance of roads has always been a challenge in the city and now with the ban on hot mix plants, we have to evaluate what should be the alternative, both on design and technical aspect. IIT Kharagpur has been working with the Kolkata Police and the state police in aspects of road safety and security. So the decision of seeking their opinion was taken," a senior official of the KMC who attended the meeting said.
It is learnt that experts from IIT KGP suggested the use of cold mix and white topping as an alternative. A blend of the cold and hot mix can also be another option.
The scope of modernising the existing plants to make it pollution free or setting up a new hot mix plant eliminating impurity hazards was also discussed in the meeting.
Prof Bhargab Maitra and Prof Kranthi Kumar Kuna of Civil Engineering Department and Dr Swati Maitra of Ranbir and Chitra Gupta School of Infrastructure Design and Management attended the meeting from IIT KGP. The IIT team also inspected a stretch at Central Avenue where there are certain problems of undulation.