Archaic road technology behind potholed roads | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Archaic road technology behind potholed roads

Archaic road construction technology being employed by the three civic bodies in Delhi are the biggest culprits behind potholed roads — a problem that is magnified every monsoon. Ritam Halder reports.

delhi Updated: Jul 17, 2013 02:40 IST
Ritam Halder

Archaic road construction technology being employed by the three civic bodies in Delhi are the biggest culprits behind potholed roads — a problem that is magnified every monsoon.

And it is not that the corporations don’t have a choice. Despite innovations available to build better roads, the capital’s three municipal corporations have stuck to age-old technology.

Their counterpart in the New Delhi region, NDMC, however, has moved on to Micro Surfacing — a technology that is far superior and helps in laying durable roads, as per the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI).

“In 2000, Prithviraj Road was resurfaced using the Micro Surfacing technology. Even after 12 years, it’s doing well. This is the case of many NDMC roads, as the council uses the technology for resurfacing work. The technology is pollution-free, ensures speedy work, works with minimum labour, faster to execute and entails lesser project costs,” PK Jain, chief scientist, CRRI, told Hindustan Times.

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Jain pointed out that road-owning agencies in India have been using hot mix for repair work, which does not work in wet conditions. This causes inordinate delays in pothole repair.

According to Dr S Gangopadhyay, director of CRRI, in recent years some innovative bitumen-based emulsion technologies have demonstrated their ability in meeting the challenges of carbon credit, economy and environmental concerns. Consequently, various standards and specifications have been brought out on those aspects.

“There is a clear benefit in the use of emulsion-based cold mix and half warm technologies that can bring about durable and sustainable development of roads in India. Mumbai has been using cold mix successfully and now it is the turn of Delhi,” Gangopadhyay said.

Fly ash is another component that has the potential to transform the story of roads in India, he said.

Micro Surfacing was pioneered in Germany in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Introduced in the United States in 1980, it is now recognised not only as the most cost-effective way to treat the surface wheel-rutting problem, but also a variety of other road surface problems.