India’s per capita consumption of plastic is expected to double in the coming five years. With the Central Pollution Control Board stating that about 15,000 tons of plastic waste is released every day in the nation, this proposition may come to life sooner than expected. Where on one hand there are governmental organisations and NGOs fighting for the reduction of such consumption, there is a single person in Madurai who believes that plastic is a gift of God and has the power to be a wonderful resource – and he’s managed to prove the same too.
Rajagopalan Vasudevan is responsible for laying down more than 5,000km worth of plastic roads in at least 11 states across the country. Popularly known as the Plastic Man of India, Vasudevan is actually a chemistry professor from Madurai who invented a ground-breaking technology that helps in creating roads by reusing plastic wastes. Pollutant free and completely ec0-friendly, Vasudevan’s technology is a perfect example of Jugaad or ‘frugal innovation’. Where the government normally spends millions for building stable roads for the monsoon, this technology is not only cost efficient but also environment friendly. Additionally, the maintenance costs are also lower compared to other roads. These roads are then designed in a manner that they can accommodate pipelines inside them as they are hollow. Moreover Vasudevan has stated that his technology needs no interference from strong machineries as they are supposed to be created in warehouses and then installed onto pathways directly, thus reducing onsite production costs.
In an interview with The Better India, he explained, “The advantages of using waste plastics for road construction are many. The process is easy and does not need any new machinery. For every kilo of stone, 50 gms of bitumen is used and 1/10th of this is plastic waste; this reduces the amount of bitumen being used. Plastic increases the aggregate impact value and improves the quality of flexible pavements. Wear and tear of the roads has decreased to a large extent.”
The journey to invent this technology was not easy for him. He extended his interests into plastics in 2001, where his own university welcomed his project by giving him the needful resources. However, our own country did not accept this as a believable resource until after he was recognised in the Netherlands. Therefore, he sadly remained unsung for the longest time as the kind of hero our country needs and deserves today. It was not until 2004 that he got the opportunity to present his idea in front of the the Tamil Nadu chief minister. Immediately impressed, she commissioned 1,000km worth of road stretches to be turned into plastic roads
Source: Chiara Goia
An Article by : Karan Kaul
This post was written by pifadmin