List this as yet another experiment in the quest for better roads. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to bring in a device that can scan roads and detect among other things, any irregularities in construction.
The civic body will be importing the ground penetrating radar (GPR) from Japan at a cost of Rs 15 lakhs. The machine will be tested on a pilot basis for 50km. The primary job of the machine will be to detect the thickness of each layer under the surface. It will also be used detect cracks both on the surface and underneath.
If employed well, the GPR could help detect malpractices employed by road contractors who often deviate from specifications to cut costs. The GPR can also be used to detect underground utilities like water, sewage and storm water drains, and can save such utility ducts from accidental damage during roadwork.
Confirming the development, additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said, "We have decided to import the technology on a pilot basis. Such a machine will help strengthen our quality control on the way roads are made. This could help us detect any malpractice whatsoever, in the way that road has been made."
Another civic official from the road department, not wishing to be named said, "External cameras will help us detect potholes, and also help determine the general state of the road. Also, the radar technology will throw up the volume and size of potholes, along with the depressions on the road, if any."
The BMC first stumbled upon this technology almost a year ago, when erstwhile municipal commissioner Swadhin Kshatriya and mayor Shraddha Jadhav inspected the machine and returned impressed.