Textile Ministry approves use geotextile to develop infrastructure in NER

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-12-19 11:00:00 – New Delhi

The North Eastern region with a young Himalaya range is prone to landslides, high seismic activity and weak soil conditions. The geotextiles technology shall prove an apt solution for such conditions. The Ministry of Textiles keeping this in view has approved a ‘Scheme for promoting usage of geotechnical textiles in north east region (NER)’ in order to capitalize on the benefits of geotechnical textiles.

The use of this modern and globally proven technology will help in creating roads and infrastructure in north east (NE) which will require less maintenance and shall have longer life.

The scheme has been approved on 3rd December 2014 with financial outlay of Rs 427 crore for five years from 2014-15. This would include Rs. 374 crore for Geotextiles Material application and Rs 53 crore for the training and other soft components.

The scheme will be driven by Textile Ministry’s Centres of Excellence and will also provide technological support, capacity building, training, market development support and create awareness about geotextiles by supporting the entire supply chain.

The scheme envisages use of geotextiles on pilot basis for demonstration and proving efficacy in areas of road and infrastructure building, slope and hill protection and water reservoirs in north eastern states.

The scheme aims to utilize geotextiles in developing infrastructure in NE by providing the incremental cost for utilization of geotextiles up to 15 percent of the project cost.

North Eastern Region is prone to heavy rain fall. The use of geotextiles in water reservoirs will help in storing the rain water and will address the water scarcity in the region. The use of geotextiles in slope and hill protection will also prevent landslides which are common in north eastern region.

Geotechnical textiles are used world over to address some of these problems with proven track record as a technology world over. Therefore, these materials carry a huge potential for use in these regions in projects relating to road construction, hill slope protection and erosion control, and reservoir lining for water retention.

Once the technology is demonstrated in north eastern region which is one of the most difficult terrains, it is expected that usage of geotextiles will increase in NER and also in rest of India which shall result in growth of industry and hence employment.

The north eastern region of the country comprises of eight states, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The region occupies about 5.6 per cent of the total geographical area of the country. In spite of rich biodiversity and ethno-cultural richness the region has its share of problems in terms of infrastructural inadequacies and connectivity etc. Varied climatic and geophysical conditions of this region make the general infrastructure of the region, such as roads, fragile and susceptible to frequent damages.

Due to heavy rains and unstable geographical conditions the hills slopes lead to frequent landslides thereby damaging roads and causing serious erosion problems. In spite of heavy rains the region faces serious water crisis as the rain water cannot be retained and stored. Traditional civil engineering solutions for construction of hill roads in these landslide prone and sinking terrains have not been very successful to retain the infrastructure for a longer duration, needing frequent restoration and repair leading to heavy expenses.

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