Every once in a while, the crater-sized potholes and backbreaking jolts stop and the odd lucky Mumbai commuter is treated to a stretch of fine, paved paradise. A road with no ditches, no dug-up stretches. A road, in other words, that is as a road should be.
Most of these roads are, admittedly, in VIP areas such as Malabar Hill and Prabhadevi, areas home to the official residences of the chief minister and mayor. But they prove that the municipal corporation can build a good road, when it sets its mind to it.
So how does this happen? What makes a good road good? How does the BMC keep these particular stretches pristine? Hindustan Times, which launched a campaign two weeks ago demanding better roads for Mumbai, invited a panel of road experts to try and answer these questions.
On the panel were NV Mirani, chairman of the civic Standing Technical Advisory Committee on roads, which was constituted after the 26/7 deluge of 2005 and was dissolved in 2007; IIT-Bombay professors SL Dhingra and KL Krishnarao, who teach transportation systems engineering; Mayur Vora, partner at Organo Chemical Industries, which builds roads in New Delhi using the latest German technology; and Nandkumar Salvi, former BMC chief engineer for roads, who explained what it takes to lay a good road (see boxes), and picked examples from within the city.
A look at three roads picked by the panel as examples of getting it right…