CSIR-Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) is engaged in research and development of various projects like roads, runways, bridges, structures, traffic and transportation planning, use of sustainable materials, etc. It has recently developed road construction and maintenance equipment Patchfill - Pothole Repair Machine and Mobile Cold Mixer cum Paver, which were dedicated to the nation in the presence of Sh. Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Dr. Jitendra Singh, Honourable Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, and General (Dr.) Vijay Kumar Singh, Honourable Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Civil Aviation. The event was attended by DG, CSIR, and officials from MoRTH, NHAI, Ministry of Science & Technology, NRIDA, NRDC, IIT Roorkee, Petrochem Pvt. Ltd, and other bodies and associations.
Dr. Ranjana Aggarwal, Director, CSIR-CRRI welcomed the dignitaries and made a presentation on R&D activities carried out by the institute. Dr. Rajesh S Gokhale, DG, CSIR in his opening remarks appreciated the work carried out by CRRI. Dr. Jitendra Singh expressed his appreciation of the scientists for indigenously developing new equipment aligned to Atma Nirbhar Bharat. He suggested greater focus on collaborations with intra and inter-departmental institutes as well as the private sector for scientific R&D and for increasing capability and capacity in R&D to meet the country’s needs for the next 25 years.
General (Dr.) V.K. Singh emphasized the need for R&D from lab to field implementation in the shortest possible time. “The Institute should focus on challenging projects for development of sustainable, low cost, and long lasting, environment friendly roads without compromising on quality,” he said.
Sh. Nitin Gadkari laying emphasis on need-based R&D, said that filing patents is not the end of any R&D; rather, it should be commercialized. “The country needs high quality yet low-cost construction technologies. The newly developed Patchfill - Pothole Repair Machine should be commercialized for use by the Urban Development authorities and the road owning agencies in the States, for which the MSME/industries should also be involved,” he said.
The Minister also emphasized developing and implementing the following solutions:
- Cost-effective technologies by using locally available materials as well as alternative materials for road construction, with a view to reduce usage of cement and steel.
- New technologies for cost-effective and high-quality construction materials like Plastic Waste, Tire Rubber, Municipal Solid Waste, Beema Bamboo, Agricultural and Industrial Waste.
- Cost-effective, long-term, and efficient solutions for Bridge Expansion Joints and technologies for Long Span Bridges.
Dr. Shekhar C Mande, Former DG, CSIR, was felicitated for his exemplary contribution to CSIR. The event ended with a vote of thanks to the Ministers and the dignitaries.
Patchfill - Pothole Repair Machine: One-Stop Solution for Maintenance of Roads & Highways
Most road construction agencies in India repair potholes by employing manual labour, though a few agencies have deployed high-cost imported machines that require constant maintenance. CSIR’s indigenously developed compact and low-cost Pothole Repair Machine uses bitumen emulsion based cold mix technology. The machine is self-propelled and self-contained (including cleaning of pothole and compaction of mix after placing it in the pothole). It is 70% cheaper compared to imported machines, and the manpower cost is one-third that of the manual process. It can repair 12-15 medium size potholes in just one hour.
Mobile Cold Mixer cum Paver: Saving Time & Cost of Road Construction
Design and construction of roads in high altitude Himalayan region poses many difficulties due to the following factors:
- Non-availability of skilled labour in areas like the North-Eastern States in the Himalayan Region.
- Non-availability or limited availability of space for setting up plants for road construction
- Non-availability of heavy-duty conventional construction and operational equipment.
By using the Mobile Cold Mixer cum Paver, construction speed is increased by 10 times and manpower requirement reduced by 20 times, compared to conventional manual construction process. The machine makes faster progress, makes better quality roads, and there is reduced cost as well as emissions. Constructing a one-km road will save approximately 200 tCO2.