PMC uses porous paver blocks for better drainage

Also To Boost Groundwater Recharge
The Pune Municipal Corporation has begun an experiment with a new and porous variety of paver blocks at select locations in the city to boost groundwater recharge and tackle waterlogging problem, especially in the low-lying areas.The Taljai plateau is the first site where an entire walkway has been laid using these porous blocks.Currently, the civic body is studying their effectiveness in rainwater percolation. A sample has also been dispatched to the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai for testing their strength to withstand the weight of vehicular traffic.

Procured from a Talegaon-based manufacturer, this variety of paver blocks have a lower concrete content to allow for additives like foam for absorption and metal to boost strength.

Once cleared for mass use, the civic body hopes to use these blocks across the city in footpath-laying projects. Also, plans are afoot to use them in civic buildings, government-run hospitals and municipal schools.

The civic body is also looking at finding more suppliers of this variety to encourage large-scale adoption of these blocks, even in private premises like housing societies.

The idea is to maximize percolation of water into the ground, Dnyanesh Barshikar, executive engineer, the civic roads department, said. “We have been researching on methods deployed internationally to tackle the problems of waterlogging and depleting groundwater. This idea appealed to us. We have been in talks with suppliers of paver blocks to increase porousity of their product. This is only the first trial. The paver blocks were laid at the end of May. We are still studying their effectiveness,“ he said.

Barshikar also lauded efforts being made by residential societies to recharge the groundwater. “Some people have started adopting techniques like this already. It is a good idea for housing complexes, especially in areas where the traffic flow is not very heavy,“ he said.

Even after trials, use of these porous paver blocks will be selective, Rajendra Raut, head of the civic road department, said. “We don’t plan to replace paver blocks across the city. For now, usage will be limited to low-lying areas, or those that have a recharge bore and connected storm-water drain to maximize their effectiveness,“ he said.

When contacted, Shashank Deshpande, former deputy director of Groundwater Surveys and Development Agency, said, “It’s a step in the right direction.We all know how precious groundwater is. So every effort must be made to recharge it. If successful, these paver blocks could prove to be a boon in areas where there is no storm-water evacuation mechanism.“

TIMES VIEW:

Several areas in city suffer due to waterlogging in the monsoon. Since the civic body has opted for massive road concreting, the chances of rainwater percolating and recharging the groundwater table have been minimized. The civic body must use porous paving blocks in the side margins of all concrete roads and lay down a rule making their usage mandatory in the open spaces of housing societies and government buildings where such portions are either concreted or covered with cement paving blocks

Source : TOI

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