Irked by the negative publicity over the poor quality of roads, including the much-publicised flyovers, the state government has asked the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), a state agency, to set up quality control laboratories headed by its chief.
The state’s urban development department wrote to the MMRDA on July 27, asking it to set up state-of-the-art in-house quality control laboratories, equipped to test asphalt, steel and other materials used in its infrastructure projects.
MMRDA is responsible for construction and maintenance of several roads in the city, including the Andheri-Ghatkopar link road and the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli link road, besides the various flyovers constructed by it. All these stretches are pothole-ridden.
“The only way to keep a check on contractors is to ensure that there is no dilution in materials used,” said a senior official from the urban development department. “If we can keep a check by routinely and stringently testing the material used for making roads, we can avoid potholes,” he added.
He added that the MMRDA gets testing done through third-party quality control labs, which are often hand-in-glove with contractors, he said.
“If our lab says the material used is substandard, we can cancel the contract. MMRDA is building premier infrastructure projects, so this is the need of the hour,” added an official from the chief minister’s office.
The state government is likely to issue similar directives to the BMC, to upgrade and increase the network of its quality control laboratory.