More than two weeks after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) decided to try out new technologies for improving the condition of city’s roads, four out of the nine firms have either backed out or have been shown the door by the civic body.
As a result, only the remaining five technologies will be tested from next week onwards.
The trials had to begin about 10 days ago after chief minister Prithviraj Chavan intervened and directed the civic body to introduce new technologies in constructing and repairing new roads.
In an attempt to improve the quality of city’s roads, the municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar had invited nine firms to take trial patches on the city’s roads, which would then be checked for quality. In case the work done by any of these firms was of good quality, the technology would then used in the next road improvement tender.
The backing out of these four firms will be a setback for the civic body, considering that all its previous attempts at bringing in new technology had been resisted by the contractor lobby that exists in the civic body.
Satish Badwe, chief engineer (roads), said, “There were various issues with the technologies. Carboncore has been tried and tested; hence, there is no need to test it again. One of the technologies was found to be too costly. So we couldn’t test it.”
The three Inkjet patching machines, acquired by the BMC have also been excluded from these trials. The civic body had initially planned to call the manufactures of these machines to offer demonstrations, but has now dropped this plan.
Civic officials, meanwhile, refused to comment on whether the technologies excluded in these trials will be included in the upcoming tender for road repair and pothole-filing work.