After the paver blocks turned out to be a flop show, angering citizens over the waste of public money, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is back with a new plan to improve the condition of Mumbai roads and sidewalks.
The civic body now plans to remove all the paver blocks in the city and concretise them using stamped concrete (embossed to resemble various patterns and textures such as brick, slate, flagstone, stone, tile, wood, among others).
The roads department of the BMC is currently working on implementing the project across city.
According to BMC sources, the stamped concrete will be an apt replacement for paver blocks. The footpaths with stamped concrete will have a longer life, of about 12 years as against the existing paver blocks on footpaths, which last only for about five years.
BMC chief engineer, Ashok Pawar, confirmed the plan, but did not reveal anything more, claiming the plan is yet to be approved. “The project is still at a very early stage,” he said.
The idea was proposed by former civic chief Sitaram Kunte, after a study tour that he attended abroad.
Civic officials said the plan will be finalised during monsoon, after which tenders will be floated. Initially, as a pilot project, the stamped concrete will be used to cover drains.
The official approval for this technology is yet to be taken as Kunte is no longer the municipal commissioner.
“Kunte came up with the idea after attending a foreign study tour. We will take up the work after monsoon,” said a civic official, requesting anonymity.
The paver blocks have been shifting in and out of the news for the past several years.
The civic body had first used the blocks around 2002. However, it invited citizens’ ire as the blocks often loosened and formed potholes.
Recently, the BMC started removing the paver blocks and laying the roads using asphalt.