Jute geotextiles project to protect road, river dams
Author / Source : BSS
DHAKA, Oct 19: With a view to diversifying the use of jute and jute goods, the government has taken initiatives under Jute Diversification Promotion Centre (JDPC) to utilize jute geotextiles in the construction of rural roads cum river embankments for checking catastrophic river erosions. “We will go for massive road construction and river bank protection using jute geotextiles after successfully piloting the project launched in the country’s northwestern region,” JDPC executive director Khandaker Mokhlesur Rahman told BSS Wednesday.
He said a 500-metre embankment along the bank of Pathuraj River in Boda upazila under Panchagarh district has been built using the geotextiles to protect it from erosion.
The initiative was taken under an international project titled ‘Development and Application of Potentially Important Jute Geotextiles’.
The project is implementing in Bangladesh and India with the financial help of United Nations Common Fund for Commodities (CFC).
“Under the project, a total of 26 field trials- 10 in Bangladesh and 16 in India- on the use of jute geotextiles will be conducted by National Jute Board (NJB),” the JDPC chief said.
Mokhlesur Rahman said if jute geotextiles attained international standardization after successfully completion of the project, the method can be expanded across the world. “Jute geotextile can open the window of opportunity for the local jute industry,” he said.
“We used jute geotextiles in the 500-metre embankment that would protect the area from river erosion for about eight to 10 years,” Mokhlesur Rahman said.
Of the 10 field trials, five will be implemented for protecting rural roads, three for checking river erosion and two for preventing landslide.
The JDPC executive director said presently another field trial using jute geotextile is being carried out on the slope of embankment of the river Turag in Keranigaj.
Country’s roads and river embankments are being affected frequently every year for lack of reliable protection measures, he said.
An in-depth research carried out earlier by Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) has shown that jute geotextiles, treated with appropriate chemicals, can successfully protect the roads and embankments against erosions and also guarantee a desired durability.
A jute geo-textile expert and professor of BUET Dr Abdul Jabbar Khan said the technique of increasing durability of jute geotextiles was first invented by Bangladesh Jute Research Institute.
He said performance of pavements constructed on soft soils can be improved using jute geotextiles as the permeability characteristic of the fabric dissipates pore pressures in a faster way and ensures better drainage resulting in long term performance of the pavement.
Bangladesh project coordinator Mia Imam Musa said the project costing $3,962,826 was launched last year to end by 2014.