Implement use of readymade, idiot-proof, cheaper, all-year cold asphalt mix for potholes
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Change.org has scores of initiatives related to appeals to Government Agencies for pothole repair and maintenance in India and elsewhere. It is estimated that EVERYDAY more than 5000 people in India alone either die, are seriously injured and unable to sustain their livelihood or suffer minor injuries, due to potholes and speed breakers. In addition to this cost to human health, there are incalculable financial and social implications of poorly functioning roads.
The Government Agencies are aware of this issue and try to fix it. They work within the parameters of what they and their contractors know and have always done. Mostly they do temporary patchwork with stone and dirt or seasonal patchwork using hot mix asphalt. Obviously, these approaches don’t seem to work.
Fortunately, a Government approved, all-weather, inexpensive, made with locally available materials and idiot-proof solution exists. It is already successfully in use by Govt Agency: Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) in greater Jaipur. Citizen groups and some institutions have also experimented with it across India.
Who approved it?
The Indian Road Congress who makes the policies related to road infrastructure approved it and it was released as policy by Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Hon. Nitin Gadkari in 2014. The relevant IRC Standard is as follows:
Indian Roads Congress. IRC:116-2014, “Specifications for Readymade Bituminous Patching Mix Using Cutback Bitumen”, New Delhi 2014.
How does this method work?
This idiot-proof technology is very simple and involves the following steps for repairing potholes.
1. Clear the pothole (wet or dry) by removing loose debris. (No need for bitumen spray tack coat)
2. Place the loose readymade cold asphalt mix from a sealed 50-kg bag in the pothole.
3. Compact the mix with a hand-held rammer (no roller needed)
4. Sprinkle some sand (some people spread grass or leaves) to prevent pick up by traffic.
5. Open to traffic right away
The completed patch would last for at least 4-5 years and would outlast the surrounding road surface. This mix once made has a shelf life of 6 months !
Please see the 4 minute slide-show video !
Those who like technical details, you can read about this technology at:
Why is it not widely used?
Simply because most engineers are not aware of it. It is not taught in our Civil Engineering courses and most of our hard-working engineers do not have experience with it or it is not included in their organization’s Basic Schedule of Rates (BSR) that governs their tendering protocols.
What is my background?
While working as the Chief Asphalt Road Engineer of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (which has the fourth largest highway network in the US), I, Prof. Prithvi Singh Kandhal, the petitioner, had the privilege of developing this pothole patching method in the 1980s. It was then successfully used in the field. Subsequently, a nationwide US Field Study conducted in different climatic regions, adjudged this patching method as the best. This has been published in the journals of the US Transportation Research Board. More details about me are at:
Why is your involvement necessary?
I have tried all official channels to raise awareness since I returned to India in 2005. Here is what I have done:
1. Published the required research.
After retiring as Associate Director Emeritus of the National Center for Asphalt Technology at Auburn University, and my return to India, I conducted successful field applications in Jaipur on streets and NH 11 (Jaipur-Agra Road), and published and presented a technical paper, “A Simple and Effective Method of Repairing Potholes in India” at the Annual Session of the Indian Roads Congress in 2008.
2. Contacted the engineers directly.
I made an appeal to over 1500 highway colleagues across India (via emails and blog) to implement this effective, unpatented, generic technology in the interest of public. The most recent appeal can be accessed at:
The Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) implemented it in 2010 and has been using it with great success up to date. JDA maintains over 6000 km of roads and streets in Greater Jaipur.
3. Approved and released the standard.
After a long-drawn struggle, I was successful in getting this unpatented, generic technology approved by the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) which was released by Hon. Gadkari in 2014. I chose not to patent this technology so that it can be used freely and widely throughout the world.
4. Wrote and released the book on Asphalt Road Technology.
I had the privilege of receiving the “Lifetime Achievement Award in Asphalt Road Technology” in the US in 2012. I believe I have adequate credibility in recommending this simple, idiot-proof patching mix for India. I have worked in the US for 30 years and in India for 20 years as Asphalt Road Engineer. In July 2016, I authored the first ever textbook on asphalt road technology in India.
How can you help?
Tenders for supply of this pothole patching mix can be called TODAY by central, state, and municipal authorities by referring to the IRC Standard mentioned above and tender documents included in my recent appeal to highway colleagues (link given above). It is that simple if there is a will. The 50-kg bags have a shelf life of at least 6 months. Therefore, these bags can be made in advance based on estimated demand. All government organizations such as State PWDs, Central PWD, MES, BRO, and city municipalities should include this item in their Basic Schedule of Rates (BSR) for easy implementation.
Can you help me request Hon. PM Narendra Modi and Hon. Minister Nitin Gadkari to put their foot down to mandate the implementation of this Indian Roads Congress approved pothole patching technology in all states?
You can help as a citizen by signing this petition so that we can appeal collectively and strongly to Hon. Modi and Hon. Gadkari to implement this effective pothole patching technology across India. By working together, Potholes can become a distant memory on Indian Roads and Streets.
Together is better. Join me and let’s bring the solution to our streets.
Prof. Prithvi Singh Kandhal, Jaipur
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