Third-party inspection needed for road work in Pune, says activist
Prashant Inamdar, convener, Pedestrians FIRST and a member of the road committee which submitted its report to the PMC, expressed his views on potholes and gave some suggestions for it. HT spoke to Inamdar to discuss the pothole problem.pune Updated: Sep 21, 2017 23:49 IST
Why do potholes emerge on roads?
Lack of quality work and improper restoration of road digging work are the main reasons why potholes develop on city roads. Even the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is not conducting regular maintenance work on the roads. Potholes have become a regular phenomenon every year. Potholes emerge not only on older roads but even on new and renovated roads due to some premature failure of the bituminous roads. There are also problems with concrete roads such as cracks in concrete, surface pitting leading to deeper holes, jagged edges which progressively crumble to form wider gaps.
Why is there no coordination between various departments for the road digging work?
It has been observed that various PMC departments (road, ward offices, traffic, water supply, drainage, electrical, garden, sky sign) and external agencies (MSEDCL, PMPML, BSNL, MNGL, Reliance, Tata, Hathway) undertake work according to their own priorities and convenience resulting in digging of new roads and repeated digging of the same road. There is no single authority in PMC for coordination and monitoring.Accountability has not been defined for the execution of work. There does not seem to be any system in PMC for enquiry, fixing responsibility and taking appropriate deterrent action.
What are the suggestions to sort out the pothole problem?
PMC should formulate a policy specifying norms for deciding which roads should be asphalted or concretised, standards/practices to be followed for construction, quality control, maintenance and safety. The policy should address various relevant issues including those given above.There should be a central empowered authority in the PMC headed by a senior officer (preferably CE) to address above issues and ensure quality and safety. This authority should act as a nodal authority for granting permission for any work related to roads (new roads, maintenance work, road digging for laying pipes, cables), necessary coordination, control and monitoring including quality control and safety. The authority should oversee the implementation of the above road policy and also organise training programmes. There has to be a detailed investigation and analysis of the problems being faced with the intention of bringing about necessary improvements to avoid recurrence of the problems. Various aspects such as material used, methodology adopted, process followed, compliance with applicable technical specifications and codes of practice, have to be thoroughly checked and reviewed as part of the investigation.An expert third party agency should be appointed for investigation.