The fact that Indian roads are a driver's worst nightmare is no secret. The roads are already badly built, and when monsoons or heavy traffic take their toll, it doesn't take long for driving on Indian roads to turn into a hellish experience.
However, you may soon have a pretty awesome solution to this problem.
Nemkumar Banthia, an Indian professor, who teaches civil engineering students at the University of British Columbia in Canada, has developed a type of road that can repair themselves.
Sounds cool, right?
According to this report by IndiaTimes, the roads created by Professor Banthia, which are a result of research in material sciences and structural engineering, are cost-effective and sustainable in the long term. The road also helps reduce carbon footprint as almost 60% of the cement, in the roads has been replaced by fly ash. It is the production of cement that produces a large amount of greenhouse gases. The thickness of the road, which is 60% less than the typical Indian road, also goes a long way in reducing the cost of building the road.
And the first such road is much closer home than you can imagine.
As a demonstration project, Nemkumar Banthia has already installed a stretch of road at a village about 90 kilometres from Bengaluru. The project was completed in late winter last year and now has survived all the four seasons without any problems.
And how does it work exactly? The roads are made up of high strength concrete that is supplemented with fibre reinforcement and the nano-coating enables the self-healing by absorbing any water on it. This prevents water from staying on the road while simultaneously keeping the road hydrated. He told IndiaTimes,
"These are fibres which have a hydrophilic nano-coating on them. Hydrophilia means they attract water and this water then becomes available for crack healing. Every time you have a crack, you always have unhydrated cement and this water is now giving it the hydration capability, producing further silicates which actually closes the crack in time."
Nemkumar Banthia graduated in Civil Engineering from IIT-Delhi, before he moved to Canada, 34 years ago. Since then, he's been involved in research for improving the condition of Indian roads. He's been working at the Canada-India Research Center of Excellence IC-IMPACTS, where he is a scientific director.
Let's hope we have such roads all across India soon. Who doesn't love a smooth drive after all?