You felt it every time you drove and now a survey has confirmed it. Most of the city’s main roads have potholed surface and cracks that run three layers deep. Come monsoon, these roads will be a driver’s worst nightmare.
A study commissioned by the public works department (PWD) has found that almost 90% of the roads laid at least five years ago didn’t follow the standard procedure. Unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) built the roads.
“It seems that the contractor has just been carrying out dense carpeting of the top layer without bothering to check if the lower layers were strong enough,” said a PWD official.A ‘Bankleman’ study — which determines the strength of the road surface — found huge cracks in most of the roads. The roads are not thick enough and waterlogging and lack of drainage — common during rains — will aggravate the situation.
Poor maintenance has hastened deterioration.
Typically, the top layer begins to show signs of use in five years. The study, however, found that all the three layers need heavy strengthening. It's going to come at a price — the PWD wants Rs 250 crore this year and Rs 750 crore in the next.
Some of the roads surveyed are the Deshbandhu Gupta Road, Patel Road, Pankha Road, New Rohtak Road and Punjabi Bagh junction to Zakhira Roundabout.
Central Road Research Institute, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Roorkee and Delhi Technical University undertook the study to test the durability of the MCD roads. The PWD was handed over 745km of the city's roads, which are 60-feet wide, after the MCD was found wanting. So far, the survey has covered 300km.
“The condition of roads indicates that maintenance hasn't kept pace with growing traffic,” said an IIT-Roorkee expert, who is part of the survey team but didn't wish to be identified.