The cost of filling potholes on Mumbai’s roads might spiral upwards from the next monsoon, civic officials fear.
Only two out of the four pothole-filling technologies tested by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) this year passed muster. These are patented technologies, using cold-mix, and cost much more than the civic body’s normal payment rates for hot-mix solutions.
The BMC pays around Rs980 per square metre to fill potholes with a hot-mix, while the new technologies cost anywhere between Rs1,400 and Rs2,000 per square metre.
The trials were conducted through August and September.
Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said, “We might have to shell out slightly more, as compared to what we pay for the conventional hot-mix. However, since we are paying more, we will ensure that the defect liability period (DLP) is longer, and also charge an extra bank guarantee, in case the product fails.”
For a few years now, many companies hawking modern technologies have offered to fill potholes in the city. However, a strong lobby of contractors has been opposing the inclusion of these modern technologies since many of them own plants where they source hot-mix.
Experts have repeatedly pointed out the futility of hot-mixes in filling potholes, since as the name suggests, a hot-mix will be effective only if it is poured into a pothole at temperatures between 120 and 130 degrees Celsius. This often becomes impossible in times of a continuous downpour.