The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to reconstruct and concretise Mumbai's roads from October, after facing severe flak for the abysmal quality of roads right through the monsoon months.
It has set aside Rs 1,000 crore for this work, which will take off after the monsoons and continue till May next year. Not just roads, but rail over-bridges and some small flyovers will be resurfaced too.
The civic road department will coordinate with the traffic police to plan which roads should be taken up on priority. The road network of the city adds up to 1,940 km, of which 530 km are cement concrete roads.
Officials claim that once the work is completed, the city's roads will be in far better shape than they are now.
However, not every one is convinced.
"How can one take the BMC for its word? Unless there is stringent supervision, the condition of roads will not improve," says Nandkumar Salvi, a member of high court appointed Road Monitoring Committee.
Salvi has suggested that the BMC should upload all details about roads taken up for work - the cost, guarantee period, contractor's name and other technical details - to bring in more transparency.
The tender process to award contracts valued at Rs 550 crore for 117 major roads is nearly complete. Of the Rs 550 crore, Rs 350 crore will be spent on concretisation, while the remaining amount will be spent on reconstruction.
"We will table an official proposal before the standing committee this week," said Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner.
The road work will be done as per the guidelines of Standing Technical Advisory Committee (STAC).
"All bad roads have been listed for resurfacing and rebuilding. The work will be completed before May 15 as per the recommendations of STAC," said Gupta.
The civic roads department has also invited bids for reconstruction of minor roads (less than 30 feet in width).
This is estimated to cost Rs 350 crore and is expected to start from November 2011. The BMC has decided to test a new technology called 'Ultra white thin topping' this year on a few minor roads.
About Rs 100 crore will be spent on trying out this technology. Many of these internal roads are maintained by local ward offices and are in bad shape.
Since April 2011, the civic body has spent over Rs 55 crore to fill up the potholes on Mumbai's roads. Money that can best be described as having gone down the potholes.