Sunday, 9 November 2014

Ghana Must Adopt India's Plastic Road Technology

Ghana's vice president, Mr. Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, recently visited India. The two nations have a long history of close cooperation - and India has been a leading source of foreign direct investment in the Ghanaian economy since our nation gained its independence from Britain in 1957.

Now that he has established close ties with Indian government officials, and owners of businesses from the Indian economy's private-sector, one hopes that Vice President Amissah-Arthur will ask for a briefing from India's Central Road Research Council, and the Centre for Plastics in the Environment, outlining the impact of India's plastic road technology on the budgets of the states and municipalities that have embraced it.

To ensure that roads in Ghana can last longer than they presently do, and remain pothole-free throughout their lifespan, Ghana ought to adopt India's plastic road technology. It will lower road maintenance costs considerably.

It is low-tech, and road contractors here can be quickly trained to use it. It has excellent load-bearing qualities and because  the plastic  binds to the bitumen it makes plastic roads impermeable to water - ensuring that they are not washed away by torrential rain.

Its adoption in Ghana will mean that some positive use will finally be found for some of the plastic waste generated across the nation - and prevent our cities and towns from being engulfed by it, going forward into the future.

To set the ball rolling, perhaps it would be wise to send officials of the Building and Road Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research,  Highways Authority, Feeder Roads Department and the Department of Urban Roads to India, to inspect some of India's plastic roads - with a view to its adoption here.

At a time of global warming,  it is  a perfect way to climate-change-proof Ghana's road network, at relatively little cost to taxpayers.

It is an inexpensive and  environmentally-friendly approach to modernising and expanding our national road network - and a prudent cost-saving measure  for a cash-strappped nation that needs to rehabilitate many existing roads and build new ones. One hopes that  the powers that be will take this up as soon as practicable.

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