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New range of application of coir geotextiles on rural roads
16
Aug '10
Dr. U. S. Sharma, Director, Central Coir Research Institute, (COIR BOARD) informed that the Coir Bhoovastra [coir geotextiles] made from nature's strongest fibre which is extracted from coconut husk has found its place in the application on construction of rural roads for better performance and longevity.

With the recent inventions of Mobile Fibre Extraction Machine [SWARNA] for extracting coir fibres in 10 seconds from the husk and ANUGRAHA metallic handloom specially designed to weave coir geotextiles [80 square meter in eight hours], the production of coir geotextiles can be achieved to the desired quantities in no time in rural households.

These technologies have been designed to be useful for women workers who are not, in general, utilized for such works except doing manual spinning where they get meager wages.

In producing coir geotextiles the women workers will definitely get better wages. The conventional use of coir geotextiles has been for soil erosion control in roads, railway embankments and hill slopes. But this use will no doubt open up a new range of application of coir geotextiles in providing soil consolidation in rural roads. This will result in better economy, durability and improved performance.

Recently the NRRDA [National Rural Roads Development Agency], Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India in its letter dated 6th July, 2010 has written to 8 states in the country viz.,

1. Andhra Pradesh,
2.Assam,
3.Chhattisgarh,
4.Jharkhand,
5.Karnataka,
6.Madhya Pradesh,
7.Orissa, and
8.Tamil Nadu

to use coir geotextiles on rural roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana [PMGSY] for 50km road in each state.

The Central Coir Research Institute [CCRI] established by the Coir Board, Ministry of MSME, Govt. of India in the year 1959 will be the nodal institute for this work to provide DPR and other technical support including training of engineers, providing help during construction for quality control and post construction performance evaluation.

The CCRI had earlier prepared specifications for coir geotextiles based on the filed studies carried out at various places in the country, therefore, Bureau of Indian Standards [BIS] has published 10 specifications on coir geotextiles which includes the application of coir geotextiles in construction of rural roads also.

The specifications are given below:-
1.Coir Felt – Specification, 2003, IS 15340.
2..Natural fibre geotextiles (jute geotextile and coir Bhoovastr) - Methods of test, 2008, IS 15868: Parts 1-6.
3.Open weave coir Bhoovastra-Specification, 2008, IS 15869.
4.Use of coir geotextiles (coir Bhoovastra) in unpaved Roads – Guidelines, 2009, IS 15871.
5.Application of coir geotextiles (coir woven Bhoovastra) for rain water erosion control in roads, railway embankments and hill slopes-Guidelines, 2009, IS 15872.

Based on these specifications the NIT [National Institute of Technology], Trichy and College of Engineering, Tvm have used coir geotextiles on village roads under PMGSY [Please see a few photographs in the Power Point Presentation] and the results are very encouraging.

The Govts. of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have already taken initiative of identifying 50km roads in their respective states.

Meanwhile, CCRI has also taken initiative to get the accreditation from Indian Roads Congress [IRC] as promoters of this product and technique to apply in rural roads.

Central Coir Research Institute, Coir Board

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