The civic body’s adamancy in using a particular, controversial technology for building roads seems to have caused greater trouble than earlier thought.
A day after HT reported that three roads built just three months ago using the technology Carboncor had gotten washed away, an internal audit report revealed that the number of damaged roads is 12 out of 15.
The roads were built in May.
The civic body had gone ahead with the technology despite being advised not to.
The civic body, which had earlier announced that it will fine the contractor Rs19 lakh, has now increased the penalty to Rs44 lakh.
The report, submitted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) internal third-party auditor, SGS India Private Ltd, also found potholes on two of these roads.
The audit found that the topmost layer of these roads has been washed away owing to the rains – leaving the second layer vulnerable to forming potholes.
Three of these 12 roads have already shown signs of being dug up by utility agencies and the dug-up trenches have been filled poorly, the audit says. This too weakens the surface of the road.
The contractor has, however, blamed the BMC’s poor drainage facility for the poor quality of roads, saying that rainwater would accumulate and damage the surface of roads owing to the bad drainage network.
On Monday, HT had reported that the local distributor of Carboncor, Sumer Infrastructure, had been fined Rs. 19 lakh by the civic body after it found that three roads—two in the western suburbs and one in the island city—had gotten washed away.
Incidentally, the civic body had backed this distributor despite objections by
experts from the standing technical advisory committee (STAC).
The STAC had, in 2011, opposed the plan to use Carboncor, on grounds that the technology was costly and was not tried-and-tested.
But the civic body had gone ahead and allotted work to Sumer Infrastructure to construct 17 new roads, at the cost of Rs17 crore.
A senior roads department official said, “We have received the report from SGS and are investigations are on. We have imposed a fine of Rs. 44 lakh on Sumer Infrastructure.”
Confirming this, Deepak Shah from Sumer Infrastructure, said, “These are just portions in these 12 roads that have washed away. It is unfair to blame our technology because many external factors, such as drainage facilities on the road and water accumulation, can also cause damage.”