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More coir: Coir is hitting rural roads in southern India

Products | July 8, 2011 | By:

Transportation officials say that coir geotextiles will now be used as reinforcement material on rural roads in eight states in India. The work is undertaken by the Coir Board in collaboration with the National Institutes of Technology and other research organizations. In each of the eight states, up to 50km (31mi) of roads are expected to be constructed using geotextiles, under the auspices of the country’s national transportation plan (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana).

The demonstration cases in the eight states follow the accreditation of coir geotextiles by India’s National Rural Road Development Agency (NRRDA) and the Indian Roads Congress (IRC). In addition to reinforcement, geotextiles will be reviewed with regard to reduction of road damage from waterlogging and lack of proper drainage.

“Coir geotextiles have two functions, reinforcement and drainage,” said Sheela Evangeline, an engineering professor from the College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET). “The interlinked network of coir fibers will absorb the water seeping into the roads and drain it away. The soil will be first tested for its strength and geotextiles will be laid accordingly,” said Evangeline, who is currently monitoring the project in south Kerala.

In Kerala, NIT Calicut and CET are the supporting institutions. Each will install geotextiles on 25km (15.5mi) of rural roads. The performance of roads will be studied for about three years.

Based on these observations, and subsequent reports, an IRC manual on the use of coir geotextiles will be prepared. When completed, the manual will be the guide for using geotextiles for roads without the assistance of the Coir Board or other nodal institutes.

“As of now, we are depending on the research institutes,” said Umasankar Sarma, director of the Central Coir Research Institute. “We are also training engineers and workers in [constructing] the roads. But once the manual is prepared, the state governments can use coir geotextiles independently. Moreover, it would not have to be restricted to rural roads,” Sarma said.

Source: India

And still more coir

A new state-of-the-art automatic coir spinning machine developed by the National Coir Research and Management Institute (NCRMI) is ready for a 100-day program in the southwest India state of Kerala.

“The daily production of coir will increase, with approximately 60kg (132lb) of coir being developed in eight hours,” said coir minister Adoor Prakash during a press conference announcing the 100-day action plan. “Besides enhancing productivity, the yarn produced is of superior quality and ideal for making handloom products,” Prakash said.

Another initiative is the inauguration of road construction projects using coir geotextiles (see above), for which the government has sought the active cooperation of local officials. Prakash said that NCRMI will provide the technical know-how to popularize coir geotextiles in various other sectors.

Kerala officials have zeroed in on a couple of locations in the state to be developed under the model coir village project, intended to boost the domestic and foreign market for coir and coir products. To overcome the shortage of coir fiber, the state government would look into the import of fiber from the Philippines and Sri Lanka, Prakash said.

Source: Express Buzz

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