Use of geotextiles

Letter July 28, 2013
Our consultants and experts need to wake and adopt geotextiles in their new construction projects.

KARACHI: This is with reference to your report of July 27 titled “Disaster risk reduction: Weak infrastructures, embankments along Indus River pose risk of flooding in Sindh”. Dumping stones to control soil erosion and strengthen the embankment is a primitive and inefficient solution. The stones do not remain in place when the river is in high flood. To control soil erosion due to flood, the rest of the world has started using technical textiles, also known as geotextiles, and this is now an established practice.

Geotextiles have been used in several projects in Pakistan, including DHA golf course located at the mouth of the Malir river estuary into the Arabian sea. To raise the awareness of geotextiles and its application in infrastructure works, a local chapter has also been established by the International Geosynthetics Society in collaboration with the Textile Institute of Pakistan. It is unfortunate that while we have a large textile industry, our experts and industry leaders remain unaware of the benefits of geotextiles. Our neighbour India has an established industry of geotextiles and this has translated into successful development of infrastructure works.

I give credit to government institutions such as the National Highway Authority and the Pakistan Standards Quality Authority that have already approved standards on the use of geotextiles. Now, our consultants and experts need to wake and adopt them in their new construction projects.

Hassan Akhtar

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2013.

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