Showing posts with label Singapore Bitumen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Singapore Bitumen. Show all posts

December 14, 2018

NHAI repeals tender

Elevtated Road project has been cancelled
By UdaipurTimes Team on December 14, 2018


National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has repealed the tender that was floated for the elevatted road in Udaipur – from Court Chauraha to Udaipol.

In 2016, the Rs 136 Crore project was approved by the State Government and NHAI was asked to execute the project  by means of its regular tendering process, and NHAI had processed the tender.

However, a public interest litigation , followed by appointment of consultants by the NHAI to look into the project feasibility even after the State Government had given approval, subsequent intervention by the court recently and finally questioning on the feasibility reports by the CRRI to NHAI, resulted in the NHAI cancelling the tender and the project.  There will no longer be an elevated road in the congested areas of the city.

Hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Rajasthan High Court had put an interim stop on proposed elevated road in Udaipur. The High Court has issued a notice to National Highway Authority of India, Collector of Udaipur and others in this regard.


Two member bench of Chief Justice, Rajasthan High Court, Pradeep Nandrjog along with Justice Vineet Mathur head the PIL and issued a notice to NHAI, PWD, Udaipur Collector and others seeking a response till 30-July 2018.

The High Court had directed the CRRI to review the project and CRRI had asked NHAI to submit the report, following which NHAI cancelled the entire project and the tender that was issued.

This was the proposed project and the problems accompanying it:

Elevated road planned to be constructed from Udiapol to Court Chauraha (Elevated Road length: 1.65 km; Cost: Rs 126-130 Crore)
Project to have been executed in time and completed by 2021
On completion, the traffic situation in the heart of Udaipur would have eased considerably.  Vehicles needing to move from near Hiran Magri/Udiapol would go use the elevated road.  Only vehicles needing to come into the Delhi gate Surajpol, and such internal areas will need to use the existing roads.  This would ease traffic considerably.

DPR of the consulting agencies for the elevated road raised plenty of technical faults with the plan and said that the project was unfeasible.
A report submitted by the NHAI also confirmed that the project was unfeasible.
Project feasibility mentioned that road was not as per Road Congress standards…viz.

Buses, trucks and HTVs will not be allowed to use the elevated road.
Udiapole road is around 90 feet now; out of this 50 feet will be taken in for constructing the fly-over. A service road will be made underneath which will be used by buses and HTVs. The service road will be of 41 feet in this case. Because of this only 20 feet road on each side will be free which is very likely to create traffic jams.

Speed limit for vehicles has been determined at 40 km/hr whereas as per IRC it should be at least 60 km/hr. Hence speed limit is not as per standard rules.
There is no provision of footpath on the elevated road. Any pedestrian on this road is sure to face risk while on the road.

The Public Interest Litigation was filed by Om Prakash Khatri, JS Dave and Udaipur Citizen Society and others. Representing the applicants, Senior advocate M S Singhvi, Sanjay Mathur and Akhilesh Rajpurohit said that regulations and provisions related to road crossing have been overlooked in the proposed flyover at Udiapole and the elevated road. They also alleged that the design of the proposed flyover has technical faults and raises severe issues related to public security.

Finally, the High Court has also, in its order said that the elevated road project, if it ever comes up in future, will take into cognizance the current decision by High Court and NHAI and will seek approval from the High Court before proceeding.

Source- Udaipur Times

December 6, 2018

Swedish Accident Spot to be covered

NCC to sort out 6km Swedish accident blackspot

 1 day NCC is to rebuild a dangerous road in Sweden under a contract worth nearly SEK455m (£40m).

It has signed a comprehensive agreement with the Swedish Transport Administration to build a new road along a 6km stretch of European route E14 between Timmervägen and Blåberget outside Sundsvall. NCC’s assignment includes construction of a new four-lane expressway, intersections and five bridges as well as the reconstruction of the current route.
The existing road is a blackspot for accidents, and the purpose of the project is to improve accessibility and traffic safety for both motorists and unprotected road users along the route.
The construction project will be planned to ensure a safe work environment while minimising disruptions to motorists, through initiatives including construction of temporary bypasses.
Construction work will start in early 2019 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

March 13, 2018

Politics of Road Buliding- The Portughese Way

Malawi: Presidency’s ‘sweetheart contractor’ Mota-Engil grabs the lion’s share of road contracts

It is widely seen as the Malawi presidency’s sweetheart contractor. And a leaked official report lends weight to this perception, showing that Portuguese-based multinational engineering firm Mota-Engil has almost 10 times the value of government road-building contracts as its nearest rival.

This story was supported by the Centre for Investigative Journalism Malawi, in association with the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

A report by the Roads Authority (RA) shows that Portuguese-based multinational engineering firm Mota-Engil currently has road contracts in Malawi with a combined value of 142-billion Malawi kwacha (R2.4-billion).

By contrast, the second most-favoured company, Zhajoung of China, is engaged in government road projects worth just K14.9-million (R250-million).

A high-ranking executive from a rival civil engineering company, who asked to remain anonymous, said the feeling among competitors was that Mota-Engil was the principal beneficiary of Malawi government tenders.

“We cannot protest the conduct of government when it comes to awarding these projects to Mota-Engil because the construction industry in Malawi is guided by politics,” the executive said.

Asked for comment, Mota-Engil’s public relations officer, Thomas Chafunya, said any questions should be directed to the Malawi government and the RA.

“We are the bidding and contracted party, but they are the contracting authority and owners of the projects on behalf of Malawi,” he said.

The RA’s public relations manager, Portia Kajanga, insisted that the authority follows the Public Procurement Act.

Kajanga said all donor-funded projects must follow donor requirements and guidelines, meaning that “the RA follows transparent procurement systems – there is no bias in the award of contracts”.

Kanjanga also said the RA manages numerous projects under the government’s recurrent and development programmes.

“Under the development programme, the authority is managing 10 contracts, five of which are being executed by Mota-Engil and the rest managed by different contractors,” she said.

According to the Roads Authority report, Mota-Engil has been contracted to build the Thyolo-Makwasa-Thekerani-Makhanga road, funded to the tune of K27.3-million (R450-million) by the Malawi government, the Kuwait Fund, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the Saudi Fund and Opec.

Construction on the 82km road began in August 2016 and is expected to be completed next year.

The company is also building:

the 95km Lilongwe Old Airport-Kasiya Spur road, costing over K39.6-billion (R670-million), with Malawi government funding. The project, which will take up to 95 months, commenced in January 2015.
The 75km Liwonde-Mangochi road worth K29.9-billion (R450-million), funded by the African Development Bank.
The government-funded 75km Njakwa-Livingstonia Project, which will cost K39-billion (R670-million).
The 4.4km highway from Parliament to the Bingu National Stadium, which will cost MK6.6-billion (R90-million). The funding is from the Malawi government, through the Road Fund.

Mota’s nearest rivals are Zhajoung of China, which the RA report said has work worth MK14.9-billion; China Railway Bridge 5 (MK9.8-million, or R166-million); and Malawian-owned Fargo (MK9.2-billion, or R150-million).

The generous treatment of Mota-Engil follows repeated controversies over its relationship with former president Bingu wa Mutharika, the older brother of Malawi’s current leader, Peter Mutharika.

The brothers were very close. Local media reported that Bingu left Peter K74-million in cash in his will, as well making him co-executor of his estate. He is a key figure in the Bineth Trust, Bingu’s property vehicle.

The Nation newspaper reported that Bingu died in April 2012 “at the height of whispers regarding his relationship with Mota”.

The company reportedly built a villa in Portugal for him called Villa Casablanca, as well the mausoleum of former first lady Ethel Mutharika at his Ndata farm in Thyolo, where he was also buried.

The Nation quoted the company as saying these projects were “donations towards a cause”.

Mota-Engil came under the spotlight in 2012, when The Nation newspaper reported that it had seen three cheques amounting to K13.5-million (about R420 000 at the time) which the company had deposited in Bingu’s personal bank account at the Capital City branch of Standard Bank in Lilongwe. It gave the account number as 0140001886701.

The newspaper reported that the cheques were drawn against Mota-Engil’s Engenhara Eco FMB current account and carried the signature of Mota’s managing director, Antonmarco Zorzi.

Zorzi was quoted as saying that the payments were for copies of The African Dream, Bingu’s book, which he had bought at auction at the book’s launch in February 2011.

The Nation countered that the cheques had been deposited a year earlier than the launch, in March 2010.

Mota’s perceived ties with Bingu were again highlighted in June 2016 by the veteran MP for Mzimba West, Harry Mkandawire, who told the Malawian parliament that Bingu had salted away K61-billion in assets offshore. In 2004, when he became president, Bingu declared K250-million in assets.

In a document tabled in parliament, Mkandawira alleged that the former president received 10% of all payments to Mota on government contracts, and that his offshore assets had been accumulated with the help of “inducements” by the company.

His deceased estate revealed that in addition to Ndata estate, the former president owned six farms in Malawi, four vacant lots and four houses in Blantyre, and vacant land and a house in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Mkandawire said that he had evidence that Bingu had stashed away assets in foreign countries including Australia, the United States, South Africa and Taiwan.

After his sudden death, it was alleged that cash including millions of US dollars was removed from State House. The Malawi Law Society called for a probe of his fortune.

However, President Pete Mutharika angrily challenged Parliament’s public accounts committee to investigate the alleged K61-billion.

He called the allegations “political tactics to torment my family”.

Based on anonymous sources, the Nyasa Times also alleged that Mota is bankrolling a campaign by Agriculture Minister Georg Chaponda to win the presidency next year.

Mutharika has allegedly anointed Chaponda as his successor. The Nyasa Times claimed that the minister refused to grant an interview.

Mota, which has been active in Malawi for more than 20 years, initially entered the country as a road contractor, but its portfolio of contracts has ballooned into new sectors.

In July 2013 the government handed it the management and operation of four ports on Lake Malawi through a concessionary agreement giving it the right to finance, manage and run the ports for a 35-year period.

The Nation reported last year that the contract was awarded without passing through a competitive tender process and violated the Public Procurement Act, as it had not been signed off by the director of public procurement.

The government justified the award by saying no other company was interested. Mota’s chief executive for Africa, Gilberto Rodrigues, was quoted as saying that the approach came from government, adding: “They had a problem and we could be the solution.”

In July 2013 the company built the Nsanje Inland Port, part of the $6-billion Shire-Zambezi waterway project that links Malawi to the Indian Ocean. The port was Bingu Mutharika’s brainchild.

President Mutharika’s press secretary, Mgeme Kalilani, said the responsibility for awarding government road tenders lies squarely with the Roads Authority.

“The presidency, let alone president… Mutharika as an individual has absolutely nothing to do with such processes,” Kalilani said.

“To allege that a company that has been doing business in the country for many years, even before the Mutharika brothers made their names on the local political scene… is a desperate attempt by haters to drag the name of the current president in the mud for malicious reasons.

“Mota-Engil is not winning tenders because it constructed the house of the president’s late brother some years ago.” DM

Source-  By GREGORY GONDWE.

June 29, 2017

£165m roads project facing legal challenge


A long-awaited £165m roads project for Belfast is now facing a legal challenge, it has emerged.

Around eight years after it was first announced, cash was finally earmarked for the York Street Interchange development as part of the DUP's £1bn deal with the Tories.

But now, a legal challenge, which has been confirmed by the Department for Infrastructure, over the awarding of the main construction contract, could delay the scheme further.

DUP Tory deal new £1bn allocation breakdown - where will the money go in Northern Ireland?

The Department has said that “the tender process to appoint a contractor to bring the scheme to a construction ready stage has now been completed... however, tender award cannot occur at present due to a legal challenge. The legal process is ongoing.”

The interchange is intended to solve the Belfast's increasing traffic problems.

It aimed to transform traffic flow where the Westlink, M2 and M3 converge.

The bulk of the cash needed to build it, around 40%, was originally due to come from the EU.

The upgrade of the York Street Interchange aims to tackle the traffic gridlock which occurs daily.

As Northern Ireland's busiest junction, it carries 100,000 vehicles daily, mostly commuters to and from Belfast from around Co Antrim.

It was revealed this week that part of a £1bn fiscal package for Northern Ireland as part of the DUP deal with the Conservatives, will include £400m for infrastructure. And as part of that, money will be freed up for the York Street Interchange.

At the end of last year, former Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard accepted a recommendation from a public inquiry that the York Street Interchange scheme should progress in principle but reiterated warnings that Brexit had placed a question mark over funding.

Speaking about the project, Wesley Johnston, an expert on Northern Ireland's roads, has said that commuters can still expect delays at the York Street interchange even after work has been completed.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

February 22, 2016

Coastal Road Phase 1

The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) is yet to give its final nod for the Rs 12,000-crore coastal road project, but the BMC is gearing up to begin work on it and will be rolling out the work tenders for the first phase in three months. The decision to roll out the work tenders was taken after the peer review report on the first phase.

“The peer review report for phase 1 of the coastal road project is complete and the tenders for the first phase stretching from Priyadarshini Park to Bandra will be out in three months,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Mukherjee. Apart from Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances, the civic body is also awaiting clearances from the Navy as well as the Coast Guard, before actual construction of the coastal road begins.

The current BMC budget has made an allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for the project.
The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) is yet to give its final nod for the Rs 12,000-crore coastal road project, but the BMC is gearing up to begin work on it and will be rolling out the work tenders for the first phase in three months. Apart from Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances, the civic body is also awaiting clearances from the Navy as well as the Coast Guard, before actual construction of the coastal road begins.

The current BMC budget has made an allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for the project. The decision to roll out the work tenders was taken after the peer review report on the first phase. It is a detailed study of the project and covers the shortcomings of the consultant’s report. It was submitted on February 17.

“The peer review report for phase 1 of the coastal road project is complete and the tenders for the first phase stretching from Priyadarshini Park to Bandra will be out in three months,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Mukherjee.

Apart from making recommendations on the number of lanes, the report also includes a data analysis for different times of the day.

Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-work-tenders-for-phase-i-of-coastal-road-in-3-months/

February 18, 2016

Water Over and Under Bitumen

Repairs continue on Northern Territory's Buntine Highway after massive flood washes away sections of road

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Updated 18 minutes ago
The clean-up is continuing after recent severe flooding across the Top End's Victoria River District caused sections of the Buntine Highway to be washed away.
Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.

  00:00             00:00       
AUDIO: Gordon Atkinson from the NT Department of Infrastructure says five-metre sections of Buntine Highway bitumen were lifted and carried away by rushing water(ABC Rural)
The NT Department of Infrastructure has confirmed that whole five-metre sections of bitumen had lifted and been carried away by rushing water.
The department's Gordon Atkinson said the rain events had been bigger than anything seen over the past 10 years.
He said it was normal for road surfaces to be ripped up by such intense events.
"The bitumen has water running over the top of it and the water gets underneath and helps to lift it as well, a bit like an aeroplane wing," he said.
Mr Atkinson said the priority was to repair damage and make the highway operational, and that a longer road improvement would continue in the background.
"All our major repairs are finished, so the Buntine Highway is open to major traffic and there are no weight restrictions," Mr Atkinson said.
He said the last bits of resealing required would happen soon and drivers were safely doing 100 kilometres per hour over those sections.
Mr Atkinson said the "mountains of organic debris" left on bridges had been largely cleaned up, with a large quantity of snakes and spiders keeping workers on their toes.
"Nobody got bitten," Mr Atkinson said. "They are used to it now. They've got gloves on, they are using pitchforks, poles and chainsaws on long chain bars.
"They are ready to start running when the snakes appear."


January 16, 2016

Green Bitumen from Canada

PACIFIC FUTURE ENERGY, which is planning to build the world’s “greenest bitumen-to-fuels refinery” in Canada has announced plans to transport bitumen to the refinery by rail in a near-solid “neatbit” state.
The company initially announced that it would build the C$15bn (US$10bn) refinery on the British Columbian coast back in 2014, and would export refined products, rather than raw bitumen, to Asia. It has now submitted a full formal project description, produced by SNC Lavalin, to Canadian regulators. The refinery will refine bitumen from oilsands in western Canada.
Bitumen is usually transported by pipeline as “dilbit”, a diluted, more fluid version containing about 70% bitumen and 30% diluent, or by rail as “railbit”, which contains around 88% bitumen. Pacific Future Energy, however, believes that transporting neatbit, which is as the name suggests, 100% bitumen, is more environmentally sound. 
The company describes neatbit as having “a consistency similar to peanut butter”, which does not flow unless heated. It has very low flammability, is stable, and is classified as non-dangerous for transport. In the rare chance of a train derailment or a crash, the bitumen could not flow anywhere and would be much easier to clean up, minimising environmental damage. 
First Nations groups and environmentalists alike have criticised plans for pipelines through pristine landscapes. In addition, Pacific Future Energy has pledged to use TC-117 railcars, a new model specifically designed for oil transport.
Pacific Future Energy has selected an area known as the Dubose Flats in which to build the 200,000 bbl/d refinery. The refinery will be powered by wood waste biomass, from the local forestry industry, and the company claims its net carbon emissions will be near zero. 
Exporting refined products will pose less of a risk than raw bitumen to the marine environment in the case of a spill. The refinery is expected to create 3,500 jobs during construction and 1,000 during operation.
“Not only would our proposal provide a value-added way to get Canadian oil to growing world markets, but it would also protect both Canada’s land and marine environments from the effects of a heavy oil or bitumen spill,” said CEO Robert Delamar.
Pacific Future Energy will consult with Canada’s First Nations, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office and the public as it finalises plans for the refinery. The company hopes to begin construction in 2018, with startup scheduled for 2021.
Several other bitumen refining plants are planned on the British Columbia coast, including by Eagle Spirit Energy and newspaper tycoon David Black.

December 21, 2015

Roads that De-Ice themselves

As winter approaches, shops, cities and householders are stocking up on salt, gravel and sand in anticipation of slippery roads. However this annual ritual in colder climates might quickly grow to be pointless. Researchers report in ACS’ journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Analysis a brand new street materials that would de-ice itself.

Each winter, when climate forecasters predict snow or icy circumstances, native governments deploy vans that mud roads with salt, or different chemical mixtures to assist forestall ice build-up. Residents escape their very own provide to maintain their walkways and driveways from freezing over and turning into dangerously slick.

However the de-icer does not keep on the streets for lengthy. Melting snow and automobiles driving by wash or pressure it off, making re-application crucial. To interrupt this cycle, Seda Kizilel and colleagues needed to see if they might devise a method to ice-proof the street itself.

The researchers began with the salt potassium formate and mixed it with the polymer styrene-butadiene-styrene. They added this combination to bitumen, a serious element of asphalt.

The ensuing materials was simply as sturdy as unmodified bitumen, and it considerably delayed ice formation in lab research. The brand new composite launched de-icing salt for 2 months within the lab, however the results might final even longer when used on actual roads, the researchers observe.

In that occasion, the salt-polymer composite can be evenly embedded all through the asphalt. Thus, as automobiles and vans drive over and put on away the pavement, the salt might regularly be launched—probably for years.

Extra info: Derya Aydın et al. Gelation-Stabilized Useful Composite-Modified Bitumen for Anti-icing Functions, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Analysis (2015).

Summary
Ionic salts as anti-icing brokers have been extensively used to get rid of accumulation of ice on asphalt surfaces. Nevertheless, salt may be simply eliminated by rain or cars and requires frequent software on roads.

Apart from this financial consideration, anti-icing brokers compromise the mechanical properties of asphalt and have a adverse influence on dwelling organisms and the setting when utilized in giant quantities.

Incorporation of hydrophilic salts into bitumen, a hydrophobic asphalt binder, and managed launch of particular molecules from this hydrophobic medium can present an efficient answer for decreasing ice formation on pavements.

Bitumen has beforehand been modified by numerous polymers, together with styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) for improved power and thermomechanical properties. Nevertheless, an anti-icing perform was not thought-about in these earlier designs. In a earlier research, we developed a useful polymer composite consisting of potassium formate (HCOOK) salt pockets dissolved in a hydrophilic gel medium and dispersed in a hydrophobic SBS polymer matrix.

Right here, we developed an revolutionary technique to acquire polymer composite-modified bitumen and investigated additional the anti-icing properties of the practical bitumen. We improved incorporation of this polymer composite into bitumen and demonstrated correct distribution of the composite inside bitumen by means of morphological and rheological evaluation.

We characterised the anti-icing properties of modified bitumen surfaces and demonstrated vital will increase in freezing delay of composite-modified bitumen in comparison with base bitumen in a temperature- and humidity-controlled chamber. As well as, we characterised the discharge of HCOOK salt from polymer composite-modified bitumen and noticed salt launch inside the vary of 1.07–10.eight% (w/w) in 67 days, relying on the composite content material. The outcomes show the potential of this polymer composite-modified bitumen for anti-icing performance and for industrially related purposes.

Source- Sunnews Journal

December 15, 2015

Heavy Crude Spill Study

Refugio Rupture Informs Heavy Crude Spill Study
Environmental Consequence of Diluted Bitumen Spills Analyzed

A new study states that diluted bitumen, a raw material used as a feedstock in oil refineries, turns into a “heavy, viscous, particle-laden residue” after days of exposure, say, in ocean water after an incident like the Refugio Oil Spill.

That’s not unlike the type of oil found on the beach and in the water by the people who attempted to restore the shore this past May.

The heavy crude that befouled Refugio may not literally be diluted bitumen, explained UCSB geochemist David Valentine, but it has characteristics that are more like diluted bitumen than the lighter oils to which current spill response is tailored.

For instance, heavy crude tends to sink instead of float on the surface, and it is very sticky. Valentine is among the authors of the paper and also a scientist researching the aftermath of Refugio, which gave a first-hand case study of spill response.

The environmental risks of crude oil transport have been recognized since Santa Barbara’s blowout in 1969, the study says, and the 2010 bitumen spill into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, among others, caused the Department of Transportation (DOT) to ask scientists if the potential environmental consequences of a bitumen spill were significantly different from a spill of “light” or “medium” crude.

Often extracted from tar sands, bitumen is too viscous to flow readily through pipelines, and oil producers commonly dilute it with lighter oils or condensed natural gas for pipeline transport. The study, titled “Spills of Diluted Bitumen from Pipelines:

A Comparative Study of Environmental Fate, Effects, and Response,” explains that “weathering” causes rapid physical and chemical changes to diluted bitumen after a spill, making it stickier and more dense than water.

The heavy crude from Canadian tar sands is commonly diluted, and the study lays out the Keystone pipeline proposal to move crude from Canada and other existing and proposed pipelines around the nation. (Though the study states the majority of California’s crude is moved through heated pipes, in Santa Barbara County, the main transport pipelines are insulated, not heated, and carry oil that has been heated and blended with natural gas liquids, according to the county’s Energy Division.)

The report, prepared for the DOT and published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, also states its findings translate to transport such as truck and rail.

“Although many differences between diluted bitumen and other crude oils are well established, some remaining areas of uncertainty hamper effective responses to spills,” said Valentine, a professor of microbial geochemistry in the Department of Earth Science, in a UCSB press release.

“Further research is needed in a range of areas, including the ecological and human health risks posed by weathered diluted bitumen, techniques to capture submerged oil in moving water, and the application of advanced chemical approaches to understand the compositional changes to diluted bitumen in the environment.”

Given the new information about diluted bitumen, the report makes recommendations that the Coast Guard reclassify the substance as a nonfloating oil and that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) create a database to predict possible locations of future bitumen spills.

It further advises the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which is a branch of the DOT, to modify transport rules to recognize the special hazards presented by diluted bitumen.

Source- The Independent

November 27, 2015

Bitumen mixing Plant - On the limits

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan visiting a bitumin-mixing plant atKumbanad-Kadapra, near Kozhencherry, on Thursday


Photo: Leju Kamal

Residents of Kumbanad-Kadapra allege that the plant is causing breathing problems for people

The problems faced by the common man due to a bitumen-mixing plant located in a thickly populated area adjoining a Scheduled Caste colony at Kumbanad-Kadapra, near Kozhenchery, will be raised in the Assembly, Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has said.

Mr. Achuthanandan, accompanied by Village Action Council workers, was talking to reporters after visiting the plant on Thursday.

The Village Action Council has been waging an agitation demanding the shifting of the plant from the thickly populated area for the past three years.

Mr. Achuthanandan said the controversial plant should be relocated to an uninhibited area, if the custodians failed to operate it without causing problems to the villagers.

He first visited the Chellathuparambil colony and interacted with the affected families there.

Panchayat ward member Jessie Sajan said the villagers had been put to much difficulty due to the noxious fumes emitted from the plant.

She said one person was killed due to asphyxia caused by the fumes from the bitumen-mixing plant in March and many others were hospitalised.

Though the villagers under the aegis of the action council staged satyagraha before the Koipram panchayat office for 48 days, the local body had given clearance to the plant, disregarding their protests, Ms. Sajan said.

Ms. Sajan has been elected as an Independent member representing the action council in the just-concluded local body elections, defeating both the UDF and the LDF candidates.

Ammini Mathew, Winnie Mathews, and Sanoop Rajan, villagers, told Mr. Achuthanandan that the plant had been causing breathing difficulties and allergy problems to the people in the locality.

Steps sought

Mr. Achuthanandan also interacted with the owner of the plant, Prasad, and asked him to take immediate steps to address the problems faced by the local residents.

K. Ananthagopan, CPI(M) State committee member; R. Sanalkumar, district secretariat member; and Joseph Mathews, IT advisor to the Opposition Leader; were also present.

Source- The Hindu

November 25, 2015

Indian Bitumen Market



With the target of making over 90 percent of Indian roads bituminous, the central government has allocated more than 10 percent of its total expenditure on roads development testifying to the high priority being accorded the sector, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday.
"Over 90 percent roads in have to be bituminous. The current government has kept the development of roads at a high priority by allocating more than 10 percent of the total spending for the same," Pradhan said here inaugurating the two-day Asian Bitumen Conference being held for the first time in India.
"The current government has kept the development of roads at a high priority by allocating more than 10 percent of the total spending for the same," he said.
"I'm happy to note that bitumen products are being introduced at all the refineries in the country for the better performance of roads in India," he added.
Noting that with a road infrastructure of 3.3 million km, India has the second largest road network in the world after America, Pradhan said: "Bitumen becomes an important parameter in planning and execution of road construction projects in India."
"Owing to the diverse climatic conditions, it requires better understanding of bitumen supply and demand in the country."
According to the minister, total bitumen sales in India in 2014-2015 amounted to 4.8 million tonnes.
Experts from as many as 20 countries from Asia have come together to discuss challenges and opportunities emerging in the bitumen market in Asia, the conference organisers Asian Bitumen said.
"India's bitumen utilisation will outpace production in the coming years as demand is expected to accelerate," the organisers said in a statement.
According to the organisers, currently 90 percent of India's bitumen requirement is met by local oil companies, while the balance is imported. India also exports during the monsoon season from the east coast.
"Factors such as a shift in demand towards value added bitumen products, preference being given to cement over bitumen in road construction in countries like India, and additional usages emerging for the crude by-product have dramatically affected the outlook of the bitumen market in Asia," the statement said.
Global bitumen demand is expected to reach 122 million tonnes in 2018.