The Public Works Roads Department (PWRD) of Assam state in India has launched a new Green Roads Mission, which aims to promote the use of environmentally friendly technology for the construction of roads.

PWRD has collaborated with Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) and value-added-bitumen manufacturing company Bitchem Asphalt Technologies (BATL) to implement the mission.

The mission envisages the use of cold mix technology (CMT), which is considered to be eco and labour-friendly for road construction in the state.

The technology eliminates the requirement for any heating and uses natural rubber latex blended with bitumen emulsion.

CRRI principal scientist NKS Pundhir said that CMT is a pollution-free and sustainable technology, far superior to the conventional hot mix technology, which degrades the environment.

The new technology is expected to save drivers around 1,500l of diesel per kilometre.

"The new technology is expected to save drivers around 1,500l of diesel per kilometre."

Aimed at attaining goals of sustainable development, the mission will allow not only Assam but the entire country to benefit from potential earning of carbon credits under the clean development mechanism (CDM) as defined in the Kyoto Protocol, according to the department.

Assam Urban Development Minister Ajanta Neog was quoted by Business Standard as saying that over the last 13 years, the state has built around 13,000km of roads, but their maintenance and construction are a big issue.

"The cold mix technology is an impressive option to solve the problems of road connectivity in Assam," Neog added.

With use of this technology, Assam has become the pioneering state in the country and has so far developed more than 1,500km of roads, while other north-eastern states have constructed over 400km of roads.