coir Current Affairs - 2020

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana: Coir Geo Textiles approved for rural road construction

Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, the Coir Geo Textiles are to be used in rural road development. This is to be done by the National Rural Infrastructure Development Agency.

Coir Geotextiles

They are made of coir and last up to 3 to 5 years. The coir geotextiles degrades into humus. This enriches the soil.

Geotextiles

Geo Textiles are permeable fabrics that have the ability to filter, separate, reinforce, drain and protect. They are made from polypropylene.

Geotextiles are used to protect fossil foot prints. In combination with steel wire fencing the geotextiles can contain explosive debris in building demolition. They help to strengthen soil at lower cost. Geo textiles are used to secure slopes.

Their main applications are in the civil engineering industry. They are used in airfields, embankments, reservoirs, canals, dams, silt fences, etc. They have widened uses in erosion control, especially in hill slopes.

Geo textile sand bags are also used in forming artificial reefs.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana III

The Phase III of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana was launched in December 2019. It focuses on consolidation of 1,25,000 km of routes. It mainly includes major rural links. The aim is to connect the Gramin Agricultural markets, hospitals and higher secondary schools.

GoI sets up Centre of Excellence for coir applications

The Coir Board signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IIT Madras. The memorandum aims to set up a Centre of Excellence for Coir Applications.

Highlights

Under the MoU, the Centre of Excellence is to extend the research work of the coir sector with the support of IIT Madras. The MoU will extend the use of Coir Geo Textiles. The Coir Geo Textiles are used to prevent soil erosion in river embankments, slopes and mine slope stabilization. The Coir Geo Textiles can also be used in low volume rural roads as re-enforcement material.

Role of Centre of Excellence

The Centre of Excellence of Coir applications will assist in generating technology transfer and Intellectual Property Rights. It will provide financial assistance of Rs 5 crores for a period of two years. Around 27 areas of Research and Development have been identified that are to be taken up by the Centre of Excellence. This includes 10 projects of IIT-Madras.

Significance of Coir

India and Sri Lanka are the leading producers of Coir. Together, they account to 90% of global coir fiber production.

In India about 5.5 lakh persons are employed in coir industry. The seventh and eight plans focused exquisitely on the development of coir industry. India utilises only 50% of the coconut husks in the coir industry. The remaining husks are used as fuel in rural areas. With just 50%, India today fulfils two-thirds of the coir product needs in the world.