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Thai treasures!

Thai treasures!
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Ho Chi Minh Highway

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Ho Chi Minh Highway
Vetiver has done its job! 14 years later stable slopes, clean road drains, and now mainly native species

Stabilizing Bridge Abutments in Assam, India.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shantanoo Bhattacharyya continues to make progress with his vetiver stabilization work in Assam India. He has posted a video at Majuli, Doria Bridge Approach:showing the stabilization of two bridge abutments on The Majuli River. He shares these comments with us. "This approach is 200m in length on both sides. The slope length near the bridge abutments are 19m in length. The soil is very sandy. We started on 2nd April this year. The plantation went through the rainy season- hence inevitably there was some damage during this establishment period. We had to use sand bags and bamboo palisades to stabilize. The slopes were not at all consolidated. It was difficult for the workers to stand on the slopes. But the vetiver has worked. It has protected the embankment from the torrential rain. There was no flood in that location this year. But the rainy season is not yet over. The video was taken when the plantation was going on. We could not finish in one go because the earthwork was not completed. The vetiver on the far side was newly planted. That is why the growth does not look good. Regarding fertilizer, we used cow dung and VAM. No chemical fertilizer. We sourced the plants from Haridas as well as from another nursery at Hyderabad. I think the plants are mixed. The work is still to be completed as the earthwork is not yet done. We will give a finishing touch after the rainy season is over. The problem with Govt. Departments is that they place order at the wrong time. Also such work is to be combined with the works of other contractors engaged for the bridge, earthwork etc. This work was done under the Public Works Department. We had to wait 3 months in order to develope containersied vetiver plants. Thus on site work was started only in the last part of March 2010. If this work had not started, even in the rainy season, the entire embankment would have been lost. People all around are happy. They are saying that Vetiver has substance. We have about 15 more projects this year. Some of these are difficult river bank erosion control works. We will need everyone's good wishes. regards Shantanoo" Shantanoo is one of a growing number of engineers who understands and sees what VS can do. It works and is much less costly than conventional "hard" methods and is much better than doing nothing! He also appreciates the value of applying the technology correctly.
Stable approaches to bridges are specially important in flood prone areas. There are many examples of the success of VS when applied for this purpose. Further vetiver can be established on such slopes even in the driest areas because there is always adjacent water that can be used to help establish the plant. It is high time that government planners, designers, consultants, contractors, and lenders (particularly the international bilateral and multilateral donors) start to take VS seriously. VS provides stability at low cost, and saves significant dollars in annual maintenance

Those of you working with roads in Haiti - here is a cheap and relatively easy solution.


Dick

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