While cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is all set to receive the ‘Order of Australia’ today, MiD DAY caught up with another Indian who has received the prestigious award and will be part of the event.
While Tendulkar’s achievements on the field have earned him the award, Dr Vijay Joshi received the award for construction of better roads in Australia, which has been a success.
Born and brought up in Thane, Joshi completed his engineering from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) and went to Australia over 20 years ago, and began working with Australian Steel Mill Services (ASMS).
Joshi is currently engaged with Fulton Hogan, a major infrastructure construction, roadwork and aggregate supplier company in New Zealand, which is also active in wider Australasia.
Taking note of his expertise in constructing world-class roads in Sydney and various other places in Australia, the Australian government awarded Joshi ‘Order of Australia’ a few months ago for his contribution.
Joshi has been instrumental in utilization of various slag products for major projects, including Sydney airport’s third runway.
“While working in the profession and doing research, I learnt that the quality of roads could be improved if slag was used along with asphalt. We successfully used this procedure in the construction of the third runway of the Sydney airport in 1994. After that our company got many contracts in Australia and I can say that roads constructed using this technology remain in the best of condition for 20 years. Maintenance cost is also very less compared to tar roads and these roads are pothole-free,” Joshi told MiD DAY.
Slag is what gets left behind while manufacturing steel and can be used as a substitute for stone and gravel, over which the asphalt-bitumen is laid.
Joshi added that slag is the best option, as it is environment friendly and easily available. “If slag is used for construction of roads, we will also save small hills and rocky areas where stone quarrying takes place,” he said.
When asked about how the condition of Indian roads could be improved, Joshi said, “The government agencies should use slag-construction technology to ensure better roads are constructed. If at all the local government agencies require any help, I am ready to assist free of cost.”
Joshi’s 20-years of expertise includes structural design, constructing slag road base and asphalt applications for slag material. His achievements have earned him invitations to several countries, including Japan, Thailand and the US.
Joshi was invited by the Australian government to be part of today’s programme and flew down to participate. Joshi said, “When I got an email from the Australian government inviting to take part in the programme, I thought this is a lifetime experience and agreed to go without a moment’s thought.”