If the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is to be believed, it is the end of the road, quite literally, for potholes, which dot almost every stretch of the city’s roads.
With the rains almost over, the civic body is finally getting its act together and focusing on improving the condition of roads.
Hindustan Times has been running a series since July 20, highlighting the pathetic condition of roads in the city and the plight of commuters.
According to an estimate, the civic body has so far spent over Rs 57 crore in the last six months only in filling up potholes, most of which couldn’t bear the onslaught of the first few showers.
The civic body will soon begin to lay new roads in the city, a project estimated to cost about Rs950 crore. This plan includes both major and minor roads and a few minor roads with paver-blocks.
But the civic body intends to be cautious this time, both in awarding contracts and also in keeping a close watch on the quality of work while the road is being built. To ensure quality checks, it has appointed an international firm, which will test sample material and also supervise the work while it is underway.
The civic body has so far tested five patented technologies to fix potholes. Each company has been given a stretch of road for testing. “Technology doesn’t matter but the civic body should follow all specifications while constructing roads. Only then will the quality of roads improve,” said Sudhir Badami, a member of the high court appointed Road Monitoring Committee.
Also, the BMC plans to have a panel of independent consultants to conduct performance evaluation of all roads built in the last three to five years and are under the defect liability period (DLP). The issue that attracted most criticism was the fact that the recently constructed roads were the worst hit. The civic body has now extended the DLP for roads — from 3 years to five years for asphalt roads and from 5 years to 15 years for cement concrete roads.
Chairman of the civic standing committee, Rahul Shewale, said, “We are doing whatever is possible to improve the quality of roads in the city.”
The roads department, however, believes that these measures will be beneficial to the city in the long-run. Satish Badve, chief engineer of the roads department, said, “These measures will go a long way in making the city’s roads better and smoother.”