Village in Karnataka gets India’s first self-repairing road

Nemkumar Banthia, a graduate of IIT Delhi, is of Indian origin but settled in Canada. He is a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at University of British Columbia. He has devised a new technology for self repairing roads, which for a start, has been built at Thondebavi village in Karnataka. This road is not only cheaper to build but lasts longer and is more sustainable from the environment point of view as well.

Banthia has demonstrated this technology that brings together material science and structural engineering to showcase a self repairing road. The project was undertaken under the auspices of Canada-India Research Center of Excellence IC-IMPACTS and was brought to India across the road that connects Thondebavi village to the highway.

The road work across this stretch was completed at the end of 2015 and has stood the test of time, proving to be a success despite the intense Indian summers and lashing rains of the monsoons. The road measures a thickness of 100mm which is 60% less as compared to standard Indian roads.

Also, 60% of the cement used in standard roads has been replaced with flyash, thus reducing the carbon footprint as greenhouse gases emitted by cement products is greatly reduced. The technology sports built-in crack healing with high strength concrete and fiber reinforced nano coating making it more water absorbent.

These fibers have a hydrophilic coating which when mixed with water produces silicates that close up cracks. This absorption and drainage facility allows water to not stagnate on roads proving to be an added advantage during the monsoon season. Banthia expects these roads to have a life span of around 15 years.