The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has postponed its plan of implementing the new technology, ultra-thin white topping (UTW) - touted as a cost-effective and long-term solution to prevent recurrence of potholes - on minor roads (less than 30 feet wide).
The implementation of UTW has now been postponed to October 2012.
UTW is a technology wherein a four to six-inch- cement layer, called white topping, is applied on an existing asphalt road. The layer strengthens the existing road and improves its life. The delay in implementation spells bad news for commuters, as it could result in recurrence of potholes next monsoon as well.
The reason for the delay is that the civic body is already running behind schedule with regard to roadwork on both minor and major roads. Admitting to the civic body's failure to implement the technology on time, Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic standing committee said: "We will not be able to able to implement the UTW technology on all minor roads this year as planned. However, we may push to have five roads treated using the new technology this year itself."
After receiving a lot of flak about the pothole-ridden roads, particularly during the monsoon, the civic body had decided to use the UTW on existing asphalt roads. The technology had been successfully tested at Mulund and Mahul in 2009, and previously, in 2006.
The civic body touted the technology as a cost-effective and long-term solution to potholes, saying it would prevent their recurrence. The civic body had also decided to issue a separate tender to repair roads using UTW, worth Rs 200 crore. "The BMC is the first civic body using UTW M-60 grade system in the country, which is of a better and stronger quality," said a civic official from road department.
Refusing to comment on the delay, Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner said: "We will use the technology on five roads under the minor roads resurfacing contract for this year."