Civic officials are justifying the proposed expenditure of Rs 21 crore to rebuild a merely 1.8-km-long stretch on Napean Sea Road in south Mumbai.
“Instead of laying road material manually, it will lay by machine called mechanised mastic. It is a costly technology, which will keep the road pothole free for five years,” said an official from the road department.
Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner (roads department), said that half of the money would be spent on shifting utilities.
“We have planned to shift utilities like water pipeline and storm water drain along the roadside and it will costs about Rs9-10 crore.”
However, questions are also being raised over the way the road would be built. “The mechanised mastic asphalt technology is not fit for roads with heavy traffic,” said a former civic engineer.
The engineer said that a few years back, Netaji Subhashchandra Bose Road in south Mumbai was to be resurfaced with the mechanised mastic asphalt technology, but the department dropped the idea as speeding vehicles could slip on the road. “The technology can be used only at junctions, where vehicles goes slow,” he said.
Gupta, however, said that the issue was discussed in the meeting with road department officials and it has been sorted out. “Earlier, the material had problem, which has been sorted out now.”
While the duration of the work is 15 months after the work order is issued, which excludes four months of monsoon, the defect liability period for the road is five years.
It means that if the road is damaged in the five-year period, the contractor would have to bear the cost of repair.