Using inferior quality and less materials, not digging deep enough — a new audit reveals what ails the city’s roads.
Cracking the whip on contractors, the civic body appointed auditor has presented an alarming report on how contractors have been caught at least 263 times trying to cut corners while constructing new roads.
Of them, 107 instances were of contractors not digging deep enough before laying the roads.
“If they don’t dig enough, it enables them to lay thinner layers and use less materials,” said a senior civic official from the roads department. This results in weaker roads that crack or develop potholes soon after they are laid.
Using less materials is another prevalent way of cutting corners.
The internal audit found at least 56 instances in which contractors used either less or inferior wet-mix macadam, and 51 instances related to granular sub-base, which form the second and third layers of the road.
Had this not been detected, these roads would have given way resulting in potholes, or worse, could have been washed out. The city’s roads have seen more than 34,000 potholes develop over them this year.
The Switzerland- based auditor, SGS India Private Limited, presented the report to the civic body two weeks ago.
Nearly half of t hese instances were found in the western suburbs.
The highest number of non- compliance reports were filed by the auditor in the H-East ward, which comprises areas between Bandra and Santacruz (East), where it found 54 instances of the work not adhering to standards.
While additional municipal commissioner SVR Srinivas did not respond to queries, senior civic officials said the report was a stitch in time.
“The good part is that all these instances were brought to our notice at the time of occurrence and rectified immediately, which is how we could avoid further damage to the roads,” said a civic official.