By the end of this month, you will know why you’ve had to endure bad roads despite the civic body using new and more expensive technology that is suited to the monsoon.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally taken steps to get a team of independent experts to conduct a technical audit of pothole repairs. The audit, initially planned for the first week of October, may now be conducted next week.
It will examine why the BMC failed to rid roads of potholes this monsoon despite introducing cold-mix technology and setting stricter deadlines for contractors. The BMC has sent letters calling for expression of willingness to conduct the audit to the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay and Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI).
“Once we get confirmation and the cost is finalised, the audit will begin. It’s expected to be done in 10 to 15 days,” said GM Aggarwal, acting chief engineer (roads).
In July, an HT audit on pothole repairs had found that work was carried out shoddily at several spots.Though the audit is expected to analyse the effectiveness of cold-mix technology, officials said the technology is here to stay irrespective of the findings. “Cold mix is proven to be more effective than hot mix. Unless we experiment with an even better, alternative technology, it will continue to be used. It is more important to analyse the work done by contractors,” said an official from roads department.
Some believe that the audit has been left for too late as the BMC will start its post-monsoon road works soon. “Many roads where potholes formed are slated for improvement work. The administration now needs to focus on issuing tenders for road work quickly and ensure that work is completed before the next monsoon,” said Asif Zakaria, Congress corporator. “The administration’s approach will bring no relief for Mumbaikars.”
In HT’s October 3 edition, the BMC claimed there were only 106 unrepaired potholes left on its roads, but four days later, the figure stands at 456, perhaps because of the heavy showers witnessed over the week.