Taking a step towards checking the environmental degradation, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and Public Works Department (PWD) have jointly decided to encourage the use of Multi-Layered Plastics (MLP) in the construction of roads in the state.

The same was informed by PWD minister Vijay Inder Singla on Friday after an interaction with the departmental officers and PPCB Chairman Kahan Singh Pannu.

The minister said that use of MLP for road and pavement construction will not only channelise the use of waste but also help to get rid of environmental degradation due to unscientific disposal of this waste.

Singla said, for research purpose a small experimental stretch was constructed on a road passing through Ikolaha village in Ludhiana with the use of MLP along with bitumen. Later, the site test was conducted by the Civil Engineering Department of Thapar University in Patiala which has reported it to be up to the mark.

Hence, further pilot stretches of roads would be made with similar premix to work out the aggregate impact of MLP in terms of strength and durability of roads, added the PWD minister.

Simultaneously, the result of the case study would be forwarded to Highway Research Board, Indian Road Congress for formal approval and directions for the use of MLP along with other material, in the construction and repair of roads and the construction of pavements, Singla added.

Meanwhile, PPCB Chairman Kahan Singh Pannu said that under the Mission Tandarust (healthy) Punjab, the concerted efforts are afoot to check environmental degradation.

Pannu said that MLP, the shiny cover in which many ready to eat snacks, chips and mouth fresheners are being sold is among the few materials that are non-recyclable and have no alternative use. He said MLP keeps on accumulating in thousands of tons annually and is a critical threat to the ecosystem as it has no end use.

He added that the project is at a nascent stage but with the proactive support of PWD carrying out experiments on select stretches would be easier. The findings would be shared with the concerned authorities and a positive outcome is expected, said Pannu.