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Meghalaya to introduce geo-textile technology

By Biplab Kr Dey

TURA, Jan 3 - Meghalaya is set to introduce �geo-textile and geo-cell� technology for construction of roads, besides also undertaking erosion and flood control embankments in the State under the initiative of National Textile Corporation Limited (NTCL), a Government of India Undertaking.

Geo-textiles are technical textiles used for the purpose of geo-technical application like road and railway, reinforced steep slopes, walls, landfills, brownfields, coastline protections, tunneling, sinkholes, granular columns, among others.

A pilot project will be taken up shortly in West Garo Hills by applying the new technology, which will be implemented by NTCL.

NTCL officials recently inspected a site for the project at Ballonggre, near Tura. NTCL director (marketing) Aloke Banerjee gave a presentation to Chief Minister Mukul Sangma at the Circuit House here which was also attended by PWD officials and DC-in-charge Dikki D Shira.

Banerjee highlighted how the geo-textile technology will help to improve the stability of the soil, which would increase the viability and strength of the road.

He said that the technology can be used for all weather road as well as kutcha road in the villages. He explained that roads could be strengthened by judicious use of geocells, which ensure reduction in thickness of pavement section, using less of granular material.

�Geo-cells can be used to strengthen unpaved roads as well as roads paved by precast concrete paver blocks�, he added.

The technology would help in maintaining the integrity of the road section, prevent over-topping of the road surface, etc�, said Banerjee on drainage solution for hilly roads.

The government will also look at possibilities of using the technology for strengthening embankment along the Jinjiram river in plain belt areas of West Garo Hills, which is prone to flood. The company will also provide technology for sloping along the roads, which are prone to landslide by using �geo-cell� technology.

The NTCL has taken up embankment project along the Brahmaputra in Assam using the geo-bag technology, which has been mooted for projects in Meghalaya.

The Chief Minister, who was impressed with the presentation, has instructed the PWD to tie up with NTCL to look at possibilities to initiate the works in the State. He also suggested to the NTCL to work with ramie plant, which can be used as an alternative to jute textile. The Ministry of Textile has been promoting the use of jute-based geo-textile. The CM was confident that ramie can also be used as �geo-textile�.

The NTCL has expressed its keen interest to work with local contractors to introduce the technology in the State. They said that the new technology would increase the cost of construction initially by 10-15 per cent, which will provide more stability to road, as it would not require repair and maintenance for at least seven to eight years.

Recently, NTCL has started coordinating with Northeastern States on use of agro and geo-textiles to combat the challenges of civil engineering right from project identification and implementation.

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