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Inferior tech exposes tall claims of authorities

The city administration promised to use modern technologies for road repair work in the Millennium City but the rising number of potholes speaks otherwise.

gurgaon Updated: Mar 14, 2013 01:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

The city administration promised to use modern technologies for road repair work in the Millennium City but the rising number of potholes speaks otherwise.

The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) used the cold/hot milling technology to fix potholes on the MG Road and other damaged patches as a pilot project, but the authority has been unable to adopt such modern practices for repair works throughout the city.

To begin with, the Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road was supposed to be re-carpeted using the technology. With this, the five-km stretch could have been re-carpeted in just one day with longer durability when compared to the conventional method which takes more time. These road engineering technologies are used worldwide, even in areas that record extreme cold.

But work on the Mall Mile is still pending with the Public Works Department (PWD) which repaired the stretch ten years ago.

Other important roads —Golf Course Road, Golf Course Extension Road and Sohna Road — are also in a bad shape. These stretches are still re-carpeted using the conventional method. As a result, the surface wears off soon and potholes appear in less than a year.

Stating that hot milling technology was the best suited for Indian roads, professor Gauhar Mehmood of civil engineering department Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi, said, “PWD’s conventional mode of road construction and repairing system does not last long. The roads get damaged in less than the stipulated time.”

On the other hand, though the Haryana government gets substantial revenue from Gurgaon, it seems to be dilly-dallying when it comes to expenditure on infrastructure. RK Chaudhary, senior executive in RITES, a Government of India enterprise, said, “Gurgaon generates 40% of the state’s revenue, but the Huda is avoiding new technologies that costs at least five times more than the conventional method.”

Denying the allegation, however, Huda administrator Praveen Kumar said the authority is still considering using modern technologies to re-carpet and maintain roads as recently done on MG Road and Sohna Road.

Case studies
An expressway crumbling
Gurgaon-delhi expressway
Nearly five lakh vehicles ply on the expressway every day

Five years after it was thrown open to the public in January 2008, the 27.5-km-long Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway has developed cracks and potholes. As per the agreement with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the concessionaire — Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited — was to re-carpet the entire stretch before January 31 this year (within five years). However, the NHAI has failed to do so.

The recent rainfall in the month of February caused unprecedented damage to the expressway. Though the concessionaire repaired a few patches after the issue was highlighted by HT, rampant waterlogging at the Hero Honda Chowk damaged the service lanes till the Kherki Daula toll plaza.

Iron crash barriers — between the service lanes and the main carriageway — have also broken down at a few points. This has led to unsuspecting motorists venturing into the drains that divide the service lanes and the main carriageway.

Nearly five lakh vehicles ply on the expressway every day, mainly comprising heavy trucks carrying construction materials.

Grill session
‘We will engage global firms’
Do you agree that contractors use substandard materials work in connivance with Huda officials

We ensure that contractors do not use poor quality raw materials. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) has no dearth of funds. Moreover, we have told engineers that they will be held responsible for damaged roads.

What action will you take against an engineer if found guilty of shoddy road repair in the concerned area
I do not have the authority to suspend the official but, yes, I can write to the senior authority in Chandigarh for suspension in case I am fully convinced about the matter.

Why is Huda not adopting modern road engineering technologies
We plan to rope in firms with global repute. Our focus is good quality. We have also used some modern machines to fix potholes in Gurgaon earlier.

In the recent past, how much money has the state or Huda spent on Gurgaon roads
In the past one-and-a- half year, I guess more than Rs 1,000 has been spent by the Huda on construction of slip roads, re-carpeting, fixing potholes etc.

First Published: Mar 14, 2013 01:45 IST