After having introduced the micro surfacing and Cold in Place technology for maintenance of roads in India, Elsamex, a Spanish company acquired by IL&FS, is bringing the Hot in Place technology. In an interview with TrafficInfraTech, MB Bajulge, Managing Director, Elsamex Maintenance Services Ltd gives details about the various technologies. Elsamex is mainly into maintenance of roads & toll collection and is getting into the construction field.
What technologies does Eslamex bring in the field?
Elsamex is pioneer in maintenance. We have done a lot of research in maintenance and are in this business since the last 40 years. We have products which are very useful in the maintenance of roads as well as in preventive maintenance. One is called Micro Surfacing. It is totally developed by Elsamex SA in its R&D lab, which is situated in Madrid. Micro Surfacing has been applied in more than 30 countries for the last 30 years. Since Elsamex has a strong patronage of maintenance of roads, it will help IL&FS to maintain the roads and also to enter Latin American and European mark.
As a Contractor /concessionaire how do you apply this technology?
Initially the technology was developed by Elsamex, SA, Madrid. Then, that technology was brought into Indian operations in 2008. They supported us with the formula – how to develop the ingredients, and how to apply the product. Now we are self-sufficient to apply micro surfacing as an Indian company.
Earlier, in the 1990s, the technology was not much advanced in India. When the NHAI was started, it took the challenge of constructing the Golden Quadrilateral connecting the four metros and North-South-East- West corridors. It associated with the contractors and agencies to carry out the construction with new technologies. Now, the Indian contractors are selfsufficient in using new technologies and the quality of roads has improved..
If you look at the concessionaire’s s roads, there are two different aspects. The concessionaire has to maintain the road he constructed for a period of 20 or 30 years, whatever the concession period he enters into. So, if he delivers bad quality of work, he will have to put in extra amount of work, money and manpower to maintain the road for 20-25 years. If they do not do quality work, they are the losers. So, concessionaires are turning to better quality as they do not want to lose their money. Hence, the concept of constructing good roads by the concessionaires has come to stay.
However, there are three-four methods in which the work is carried out. One is Item Rate wherein the government pays directly. Like: “You execute this item, you will be paid”. There is no risk for the contractor in that. Possibly bad workmanship happens there. If you go with the next method the government has brought in, i.e., the EPC (Engineering Procurement Construction) model, it is mandatory in it to do your design, carry out your construction and maintain it for four-five years. The idea is that in the initial period, your maintenance is for two-three years only. If your construction is good, and if two-three years are sustained, then it can sustain for a long time.
The other one is the BOT model – for both, toll and annuity. Again, that has to be maintained by the concessionaires. With this, if you look at the NHAI work, our roads’ quality has improved drastically. Still some state governments, PWDs or small corporates has to improve upon their quality of work, I can agree on that but if you look at the NHAI’s major chunk of work, the roads have improved, the quality has improved, the longevity of the construction has improved. For example, if you wanted to buy an apple from Kashmir earlier, it took 10-15 days to reach Mumbai. Today, it can reach within a week’s time, or even within two-three days. It means there is good road connectivity.