In a move that has not gone down well with members of the high court-appointed Standing Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), the civic administration while finalising bids for new minor roads in the city worth Rs 357 crore, has decided to award Carboncor, a company which uses technology of the same name, roadwork worth around Rs 18 crore.
The STAC has repeatedly dissuaded the BMC from awarding contracts for new roads Carboncor, calling it a costly and a method untested for this purpose. The civic body has used Carboncor previously, in trial attempts, to fill potholes.
Hindustan Times had, on August 12, reported how the civic body had controversially decided to allot work worth Rs7 crore to Carboncor, while other technologies were being tested. On October 27, HT again reported how the BMC decided to double this amount to Rs 15 crore.
In addition to finalising contractor bids for 24 wards in the city, the civic body will be making a formal proposal to give about 18 roads in the city, in as many as wards, to Carboncor India.
Confirming this, additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said, “We will be giving Carboncor work worth about 5% of the original tender amount. But we have ensured adequate checks and balances, like having an extended defect liability period (DLP) of five years as against three, and charging additional deposits.”
The STAC, however, is not pleased. “We have been against giving work of new roads to Carboncor because it is too costly a technology,” STAC chairman NV Merani said.
“Also, we have not even tested its strength and ability for laying new roads. The BMC should not introduce such costly modern technology, which is untested.”
Defending the move, a civic official from the roads department, said, “We have tried Carboncor in different patches and found that it has sustained for a while.
There is no harm trying out modern technology.” Merani, however, lashed out at these claims. “Carboncor has been tried in just a few random patches, where it was declared successful without any scientific proof. The BMC doesn’t even have any fixed performance criteria. How can they then deem any technology successful?”
When contacted, Deepak Shah, owner of Carboncor India heard the queries and said he would call back. However, till the time of going to print, Shah had not called with his response.