With reports of the emergence of 1,344 potholes and several instances of filled potholes getting washed away this monsoon in Mumbai, BMC chief Ajoy Mehta has ordered an inspection of the contents of the cold mix used to fill potholes in the city.
An estimated 38 potholes which had been repaired have been washed away by the season’s first few showers and Rs 14 crore has been allocated by the civic body for filling up potholes this year.
The cold mix technology to fill potholes had been introduced by the civic body in 2012 to replace the conventional hot mix technology, which could not prevent filled potholes from being washed away by rain.
Of the 1,344 potholes reported, the civic body has managed to fill 938 potholes. However, the quality of the material is under question.
Prior to 2012, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) used to fill potholes using hot asphalt with stone chips, which constituted the hot mix.
The cold mix technology was supposed to be quicker and resistant to wear and tear for a longer period of time.
However, even the newer technology, which is more expensive than the one involving the hot mix, could not prevent filled potholes from being washed away.
Following several complaints and after conducting a review of city roads on Monday, Mehta has now ordered the material used in the technology to be sent for lab tests and ordered that reports from the tests be submitted at the earliest.
“The cold mix is 10% coal tar and 90% stone chips; it is the coal tar that binds the material together. If there is any variation in the proportion of the mix, the filled potholes are likely to be washed away with the rain. I have ordered tests on the samples,” said Mehta.
Last year too, after receiving complaints of a similar nature, the BMC had sent 25 cold mix samples collected across the city for lab tests and had found 25% of the samples to be sub-standard and also fined four contractors.