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Innovative Steel Slag Road on NH-66 Sets New Standard for Eco-friendly Highway Construction in India

New Delhi, January 13, 2024: In a significant advancement for India’s infrastructure, the first-ever National Highway section constructed using Steel Slag Road Technology was inaugurated today on NH-66, stretching between Mumbai and Goa. This pioneering project, spearheaded by CSIR-Central Road Research Institute (CSIR-CRRI), marks a major leap towards sustainable development in the country’s highway network.

Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Member of Science and Technology at NITI AAYOG, led the inaugural ceremony, highlighting the critical role of this technology in converting industrial waste into a valuable resource. The technology, developed by CSIR-CRRI, is not only aimed at strengthening the national highways but also aligns with eco-friendly practices.

The section, a 1 km stretch on the Indapur-Panvel Section of NH-66, is a collaborative effort with JSW Steel. Under the technological guidance of CSIR-CRRI, JSW Steel successfully transformed approximately 80,000 tons of CONARC Steel slag from their Dolvi, Raigad plant into processed steel slag aggregates. These aggregates, exhibiting superior mechanical properties compared to natural ones, were used in all layers of road construction, including both bituminous and cement concrete sections.

G S Rathore, Chief Operating Officer of JSW Steel Ltd, expressed gratitude for the support and expertise provided by CSIR-CRRI and NHAI in realizing this innovative project.

Dr. Manoranjan Parida, Director of CSIR-CRRI, revealed plans for developing national guidelines for using processed steel slag in road construction, under a Ministry of Steel sponsored project. He also mentioned the successful utilization of steel slag in road constructions in Gujarat, Jharkhand, and Arunachal Pradesh, in collaboration with various steel industries.

NHAI Regional Officer, Mumbai, and Chief General Manager, Anshumali Srivastava, praised the unique technological features and performance of the steel slag road section. Additionally, Satish Pandey, Principal Scientist at CSIR-CRRI and Project Leader, shared that the bituminous steel slag road on NH-66 has been built with 28% less thickness compared to traditional bituminous roads, while the cement concrete section matches the conventional thickness. Both sections are approximately 32% more cost-effective and demonstrate enhanced durability than their conventional counterparts.

This breakthrough in highway construction not only promises a stronger and more sustainable road network for India but also sets a precedent for innovative use of industrial by-products in large-scale infrastructure projects.

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