When Saurabh Kumar and Dr Pratap B set out to create a social movement on road safety by fixing potholes on Bengaluru’s roads, little did they know they would patent a clean technology that negates the possibility of potholes being created altogether.
Recycle all the way
Today, their venture PotHoleRaja, officially known as Ground Reality Enterprises Pvt Ltd, proudly displays its patented GridMats that are manufactured from recycled polypropylene. These are placed on the ground and interlocked together to create a road surface on which potholes cannot develop. The grids are filled with a specially mixed green concrete made from industrial waste—a mix that has been formulated in partnership with cement company Ultra Tech. The roads of GridMats and concrete take half the time to construct compared to regular roads.
“Our roads are not only sustainable. They are also 20 to 25 per cent cheaper to construct and have been validated by Smarter Dharma, a social enterprise that evaluates environment impact of projects,” says Saurabh Kumar, PotHoleRaja’s co-founder and COO. He explains that the GridMats have taken their honeycomb design from nature, are 40mm in thickness, reduce consumption of concrete by 85 per cent and carbon emissions by 80 per cent. Besides, they give the road effective drainage with no possibility of puddles or slush.
Kumar says that though fixing potholes is a passion with both founders, and around 10,000 potholes have already been filled across the country, the company is venturing into other related areas. It will soon launch its design of an eco-friendly temporary road. The concept enables you to lay a temporary road and remove it completely when it is not needed.
Solar panelled road
“Being a R&D focussed company, we are also experimenting with GridMats with stress sensors that will track what kind of load a particular road takes. We are also exploring the possibility of roads paved with solar panels,” reveals Kumar.
Many of PotHoleRaja’s projects receive CSR funding as they are socially relevant. Corporate and private road projects are also coming in, therefore PotHoleRaja is looking to expand its current team of 13 people. “We are looking for people with a similar passion towards road safety, saving lives and the environment,” concludes Kumar.