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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Repair roads well before monsoon sets in: Experts

In Kalyan-Dombivli, all works related to road repair are initiated a month before the monsoon. The works involves floating tenders, finalising a contractor and then giving the work order.

mumbai Updated: Sep 08, 2019 01:14 IST
After rain undid much of the road repair work by the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) and potholes reappeared on many roads in the twin cities, experts have a suggestion. (Photo by Rishikesh Choudhary/ Hindustan Times)
After rain undid much of the road repair work by the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) and potholes reappeared on many roads in the twin cities, experts have a suggestion. (Photo by Rishikesh Choudhary/ Hindustan Times)
         

After rain undid much of the road repair work by the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) and potholes reappeared on many roads in the twin cities, experts have a suggestion. Taking up road repair works well in advance by initiating the tender process can ensure better roads during monsoon.

In Kalyan-Dombivli, all works related to road repair are initiated a month before the monsoon. The works involves floating tenders, finalising a contractor and then giving the work order.

“The civic body starts work at the last moment. There is no advance work done. The roads which are repaired need adequate time to settle,”said Sreeniwas Ghanekar, social activist, founder of alert citizens group, Kalyan.

He added, “Repair work is carried out when it starts raining and finished in a hurry, resulting in shoddy work.”

A KDMC official, who did not wish to be named, said they had taken up repair works earlier than usual this monsoon.

“Compared to previous years, we had taken up the work in advance this year. Despite the code of conduct for Lok Sabha polls, we managed to get permission from the Election Commission to sanction the works. We have also initiated mastic asphalting on some bridges, which is durable.

“The civic body has also started geo-tagging the roads to keep a track,” he said.

In Kalyan-Dombivli, the tender process for filling potholes is carried out six months before monsoon.

However, the work order is given after four months as the process of getting it sanctioned in the standing committee and the general body of KDMC consumes time.

The civic body carries out the tender process only once a year. The process covers repair works before monsoon, during monsoon and after monsoon. The contractor gets a contract for one year to look after the roads.

Taking advice while carrying out the work would help build better roads, experts said.

“Roads are raised by 1 or 2 inches in every work. But, the manholes, which are also part of the road, are ignored. There is a need to level manholes as per the changes in the road,”said Sandip Chaudhary, 42, civil engineer.

He stressed that the civic body should ensure the material is of good quality.

“During monsoon, the bitumen and metals do not bond properly and hence it does not settle down well.The only way to repair roads is do it before monsoon,” said Chaudhary.

Bitumen is a black viscous mixture of hydrocarbons obtained naturally or as a residue from petroleum distillation. It is used for road surfacing and roofing. It is a new type of asphalt that has replaced tar in recent years.

According to experts, the quality of bitumen also plays an important role in extending the life of the road and determining how it is laid. Uneven roads can cause water stagnation, which can lead to corrosion of bitumen.

“In Kalyan-Dombivli, many roads are uneven where there is a manhole or any other utility service, (pipeline, power line, etc) running through them,” added Chaudhary.

KD Lala,63, retired city engineer of TMC and advisor to a leading private firm, said that the civic body should be alert for roads developing for potholes.

“It should inspect them regularly. What is done in Kalyan-Dombivli is temporary work. Long-term measures should be implemented for roads that are yet to be concretised. One is to appoint an expert to do a study on roads and help them improve the repair work,” said Lala.

“The use of high density concrete or cold mix is the best way to repair the roads during monsoon. The civic body should use the methods. The civic body should appoint someone to inspect the roads,” he said.