Non-conventional road technology bringing smile to villagers
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, March 31: Until recently, the small village of Thekrejuma in Medzhiphema, Dimapur district was hardly accessible, due to poor road conditions leading to the village. But with the aid of a ‘non-conventional’ road technology, it’s a different reality now for the villagers.
The 12 km stretch of road currently under construction is said to be employing a nano soil stabilisation technology where in situ soil is mixed with cement additive known as RoadCem which, according to engineers, has ‘faster construction method and proven to be more durable than other methods.’
The executive engineer of the raod project, Vinayak Naik told Eastern Mirror that Thekrejuma will “extremely” benefit from the construction. “Thekrejuma has 60 households and is connected to Sirhema, so this road will help in quick access to Dimapur and other neighbouring villages,” said Naik adding that children can now go to schools outside the village.
The engineer also cited the problem of goods transportation from the village to other parts of the state. He said that as the soil in Nagaland is very “clay-like”, heavy vehicles or even light vehicles cannot pass through the existing road which makes it difficult to transport the produces from the village. “Our technology of mixing the RoadCem with the existing soil makes it durable and strong for heavy vehicle to commute, especially during rainfall.”
According to him, RoadCem enables the binding of nearly all kinds of materials and hardens the road making use of in situ materials such as clay, sand and peat. This principle, he said makes the supply of conventional constructional materials unnecessary.
“Proper roads will not only boost the economy of the village but also increase tourism,” maintained Naik.
Besides, he said, this technology is “very environment friendly” as no material is burned during construction unlike traditional methods where a hot mix plant and mining/ excavation is involved.
“During mining, rocks and soil is excavated which will lead to a collapse of the soil but with RoadCem we use what is already existing around the site be it any form of water, soil and others,” informed Naik.
Currently the sole distributor of RoadCem across the country is a Nagaland based firm, ‘Elmer Enterprises.’ The managing director of the company, Akangwati Aier informed that compared to conventional methods, this technology is much cheaper. The only difficulty is in acquiring the machinery, which is not easily available.
Aier also informed that Unesco has recommended the use of RoadCem because of cost reduction, significant construction time reduction, higher quality and more durable construction, lower maintenance costs and environment-friendly construction method.
According to Aier, the life span of the road will be up to 10 years and even beyond. “The road is 100% impermeable. So for Nagaland, which receives heavy rainfall, it is necessary.”
Interestingly, the same method was applied on the 2 km Dhobinala-Signal-Thahekhu stretch, which was completed in early 2016. This stretch of road is possibly the most durable in Dimapur.
A source from the Public Works Department said that people have been wrongly calling it ‘German technology.’ It was because of a Germany-based company exporting the same type of agent as RoadCem, he said.
The source asserted that considering Nagaland’s loose soil, the technology will be ‘beneficial.’