The civic body is looking at spending Rs 300 crore on a new technology to make the city's roads pothole-free and more durable.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to layer several of the city's minor asphalt roads - roads that are less than 30-feet wide - with special cement, which it expects will last longer than the asphalt.
The BMC is responsible for 1,940 km of roads in the city, of which more than 900 km are minor roads. The trials on minor roads in Mulund and Mahul using the new technology, called ultra-thin white topping (UTW), has been successful, and the BMC is keen to use it on all existing minor asphalt roads.
Under this technology, a four- to six-inch (100-150 mm) thick layer of cement is laid on existing asphalt roads to strengthen them.
"We used the UWT system in two areas in Mahul and Mulund in 2006 and 2009 respectively and the result is really good," said Vishal Thombare, assistant engineer, roads department. Thombare is currently doing his doctorate on roads and UTW technology under the guidance of an IIT professor.
"The BMC is the first civic body in India to use UTW M-60 grade system. It is high-quality cement," he said, adding that compared to other methods proposed such as the cold mix concrete, this technology will work out to be cheaper.
The BMC has decided to invite tenders for Rs300 crore for the layering. This is over and above the Rs 375 crore set aside for minor roads."These minor roads will be tough and will have a longer life cycle. Hopefully, motorists will benefit from this in the next monsoon," said Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic standing committee.
"The BMC should ensure that the utility agencies don't dig up these roads after they are layered," said Sudhir Badami, road expert and member of court-appointed Road Monitoring Committee. "For any technology to be effective, the specifications must be adhered to."