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Govt issues guideline on highway construction with ‘inert soil’ generated from legacy municipal waste – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Paving the way for the use of “inert soil” generated from legacy municipal waste in construction of National Highways (NHs), the road transport ministry has issued guidelines. It specifies that the technical schedule in the detailed project reports (DPRs) of future works must mandate the use of inert soil in the construction of embankment of highways wherever it is provided at site by local municipal bodies.
It says, “In case a specified quantity of inert material is not supplied, the contractor should be allowed to use soil/ suitable material without any additional cost to the authority.” The enabling provision to use inert soil for highway building will help cities and towns get rid of legacy wastes and free up large chunks of urban land and will also reduce the requirement of soil, which is procured from agriculture fields.
The major component of solid waste is inert soil which is generated by bioremediation and bio-mining of legacy waste. Inert soil is not contaminated with any harmful substances and hence it’s clean. As per a rough assessment, around 10,000 hectares of land is locked in dump sites.
The guideline mentions that the DPR consultant would examine the availability of landfill sites on the Gati Shakti portal where a layer of such sites is available and in case any site is located in 100 km radius, the highway official concerned of the specific area will inform the municipal corporation and other departments regarding the upcoming expressway or highway project and the amount of inert material potentially usable in the project. In case, the municipal corporation/ other department is ready to supply the inert material, an MoU would be signed.
For the projects which are under bidding or construction stage, the contractor will explore the availability of landfill sites in the vicinity of the project and in case any site is located in the vicinity, the highway official concerned will inform the municipal corporation or other department about the project and the quantity of inert material required in the project. If the civic body is ready to provide it as per requirement, an MoU would be signed.
As per the guidelines, in exceptional cases where local bodies have not set up facilities for bioremediation and bio-mining, the highway contractors may set up such facilities. “The machines purchased for this purpose would also be considered for mobilisation advance within the overall ceiling of mobilisation advance,” it says.
The road transport ministry said successful pilot projects for the utilisation of inert material have been carried out in Delhi-NCR on Urban Extension Road and DND-Sohna link of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, and Ahmedabad-Dholera Expressway. In both cases, construction of embankment has been carried out as per laid down procedure with strict quality control, it said.



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