As per the National Jute Board (NJB) official, jute-based textiles are currently in use in constructing and with the project gaining popularity in Karnataka; the Union Ministry of Textile is planning to promote use of jute geo textiles for construction of rural roads across the country.
Jute geo textiles are absorbent fabrics used as an agent to strengthen the road foundations and prevent soil erosion along the banks. Also Jute textiles are generally 25 per cent cheaper than other fabrics.
However, being bio-degradable, it is low on longevity and is best used in rural or arterial roads, which do not attract heavy traffic.
According to a National Jute Board (NJB) official, jute-based textiles are currently in use in constructing 35 ongoing rural roads, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, across the country.
While majority of the projects are in Karnataka; the practice is gaining popularity in at least three other states, including Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
Subrata Gupta, Jute Commissioner, said that use of jute geo textiles is likely to move up substantially in the next two years looking at the current development.
According to Gupta, project reports for nine roads spread across five states such as Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Assam and West Bengal have also been prepared.
Rough estimates available with NJB suggest that consumption of the fabric moved up by 10 per cent a year on an average since 2010.
Of the 80 odd jute mills operating across the country, 13 mills manufacture jute geo textile.
Despite efforts to promote the natural fibre, absence of a regulation for mandatory use of jute instead synthetic textiles and lack of support from local administration pose challenges before the industry.
Also unless there is a mandate, it will be a difficult task to convince various agencies and engineers the benefits of jute geo textile.
In 2010, approximately 60 lakh square metre of jute geo textile was used in road development.
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