The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) intends to come up with new materials to fill potholes for better roads during the monsoon.
The steps are being considered after the high court told the BMC to stick to guidelines of the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI). The civic body has received complaints about 1,200 potholes in the city.
The BMC has identified five private companies, each of which will need to fill 50 square metres of potholes on various roads. They will be using their own technology on a trial basis. “The most effective technology will be considered,” said civic officials.
The civic body has been receiving complaints on shoddy pothole repairs and is looking to use the technology offered by each of these companies to tackle the issue because no standard operating procedure is followed at the local ward level. It is yet to finalise the roads on which the experiment is to be carried out. Officials said it will be done with the civic chief’s approval.
Sources said the five firms had given presentations in which a ready mix of powdered bitumen stored at normal temperature in 25kg bags could be directly poured on to the potholes. Using this mix, potholes can then be levelled quickly and roads thrown open to traffic in 20 minutes.
“While the contents of the mix are different for each company, the methodology is almost similar,” said a BMC official.
Another official said, “We are using the cold mix technology at present. It requires a long time to dry for effective results, but according to the companies, their materials will work on a wet surface too. The final decision has to be taken after checking the results.”
Civic chief Ajoy Mehta on Monday conducted a meeting with the deputy municipal commissioners where he ordered them to take up pothole repairs on priority.
Potholes in figures
In Island city: 415
Western suburbs: 431
Eastern suburbs: 354
Top five wards with highest number of potholes
L ward (Kurla): 119
R central ward (Borivli): 96
M/west (Chembur): 81
A and R south wards: 75 each
Highest number of potholes pending in K west ward (Andheri): 14
New reforms for better roads
To promote fair competition among bidders BMC has changed the general contracts conditions (GCC) that govern various civil work tenders.
A study by a committee of civic officials suggested changes related to eligibility criteria, different rates of security deposits and defect liability period.
The civic body will come out with a detailed circular on the reforms next week.
The civic body will also frame deadlines to seek permissions for trenching to lay underground utilities, and plan a heavy penalty for those flouting the norms, said civic officials.