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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Faulty method of filliong potholes, no expert supervision worsen Thane roads

mumbai Updated: Nov 09, 2019 01:06 IST
Priyanka Dhomse and Ankita G Menon
Priyanka Dhomse and Ankita G Menon


Even as regular commuters have been bearing the brunt of pothole-ridden roads, the civic body claimed that it has been regularly carrying out repair work.

The numerous complaints by residents and activists have fallen on deaf ears.

Experts suggest that the process of filling the potholes itself is faulty and that leads to most of them resurfacing.

“Ideally, there should be a proper supervision by officials during filling of potholes, but due to reasons like shortage of staff and corrupt practices often the contractors are left to do the work as per their will,” said Ram Jaiswar, retired engineer from Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).

“This leads to low quality of bitumen mix and asphalt, also the proper technique of filling potholes is not followed,” he said.

If proper procedure is followed during laying of asphalt road, then it will last for at least two years, he said.

“It is essential to first cut the pothole in a proper square or rectangle shape; it should be cleaned of any gravel, sand dust or water,” said Jaiswar.

A proportionate blend of bitumen mix should be added to the pothole. “It is essential to maintain the quality, temperature and heating of the mix before adding it to the asphalt road. But, as there is no supervisor present there is no checking or quality control done,” he said.

According to experts, after filling of potholes, rolling temperature should be maintained and the road will be ready to use. Unlike laying a new surface road where time to dry and set is necessary, potholes once filled in the proper manner by forming edges and cutting it into a proper shape and rolling it aptly need not be left to dry.

“The usage of high density concrete or cold mix is the best way to repair roads during monsoon,” said KD Lala, retired city engineer from Thane Municipal Corporation.

However, there should be a local body official to inspect the work, he said.

“An expert can study and help improve the process of repair work. It is essential that authorities should be aware and alert about roads that a history of developing potholes. Water stagnation during monsoon often leads to corrosion of bitumen mix which impacts the structure of the roads and leads to potholes,” said Lala.

Another factor is the repeated digging of roads.

“For various reasons such as laying pipelines and cables the same stretch of road is dug up repeatedly. This weakens the road and disturbs the smooth surface layer of concrete or asphalt leading to cracks or uneven stretch which can cause accidents or even lead to potholes,” said Satyajit B, activist on roads.

He said most roads in Thane district are made of asphalt or bitumen, however, asphalt deteriorates faster compared to concrete.

“It is not suitable for heavy trucks and buses. But, roads in the rural areas of Thane district and main roads are made of asphalt and there is constant movement of heavy vehicles. This makes it difficult for roads to last,” said the activist.

Activists suggest that an advisor or an expert be called to suggest a proper method for maintenance and regular checks on the accident-prone stretches for better roads.

Concretisation of roads not possible

Often, it is not possible to concretise all roads. They need to be a minimum of 18-m wide to be concretised. “To lay cables and pipelines, road needs to be dug up often and it is not feasible to do the same with concrete roads. It is used only for highways and flyovers where there is no need for digging,” said a civic official on condition of anonymity.