The project investigates the commercial acceptability of Jute Geo-Textiles suitable for use in soil erosion control and rural road construction in Bangladesh and India. The project includes development of material specifications, field application protocols and design in compliance with requirements and standards set by public and private sector users, as well as market needs assessments and compliance studies. If the project is successful, demand for jute is expected to increase with some 265,000 tons annually, based on an expected 10% market share of 5,300 million m2.
The project implemented 16 field trials in India and 10 in Bangladesh to establish the efficacy of Jute Geotextiles for low volume road construction and erosion control in river banks and hill slopes. The results are encouraging. In case of rural roads, the CBR (California Bearing Ratio, an indicator for the mechanical strength of roads) has increased with consequent reduction in void ratio of the soil (an indicator of porosity). In case of rivers, eroded banks treated with Jute Geotextile (JGT) are in good shape without any visible sign of distress. JGT has been able to retain slope stability with vegetation sprouting through the fabric to bind the soil. These provisional results are envisaged to be further confirmed through continuous monitoring on all sites. The market need assessment indicates that JGT would be able to seize in the next few years 5-6% of the global geotextiles’ market subject to adequate market development initiatives.
Indian Standards for the three applications have been published by the PEA. User organizations are showing increasing interest in this innovative product and manufacturers are gearing up to meet the increasing demand. The project has been extended up to mid-2016 to allow for adequate performance monitoring and reporting of results. For more details the project website may be visited (www.jutegeotech.com).