Friday, August 07, 2009


Task force on quality assurance in public constructions, in its report yet to be submitted to government, says switching over from tar roads to concrete ones is the way forward

Potholes on the streets of IT city may soon be a thing of the past if the state government implements the recommendations of the task force on quality assurance in public constructions. Keeping in mind the longevity of concrete roads in Mumbai, the task force will soon give a report to the government recommending that shifting from tar to concrete roads would be better for a city like Bangalore.
Set up by the government to examine the quality of public construction, the task force members were recently directed to look into road construction within BBMP limits. After checking 20 per cent of the newly laid out roads, the task force suggested that concrete roads are a better option. The recommendations would soon be submitted to the government.
“Concrete roads last longer than bitumen roads. Besides, there is no major difference in cost and concrete roads don’t need maintenance. The more you go for bitumen road, the higher will be the cost and later you will have to invest on the maintenance and potholes too. So we suggested laying concrete roads,” said Dr C S Vishwanath of Torsteel Research Foundation and Chairperson of the task force.
The BBMP had planned to develop a total of around 1,500 km of arterial roads in various parts of the city this year. Determined to reach the target, the BBMP had finished almost 30 per cent of road works.
“Out of the entire project we have chosen nearly 20 per cent of the road project and experts have gone around and collected samples to assess the quality and the results will be out soon,” Dr C S Vishwanath added.
The experts led by Dr B R Srinivasamurthy, a former professor at the Indian Institute of Science have visited Tumkur road, KLE college road, Aiyappa temple road at Jalahalli, Malleswaram main road, Banashankari road and Mathikere road for assessing the quality of work.
Barely a few days after the collapse of a Bangalore Metro Rail pier on CMH road in Indiranagar, the task force on quality assurance in public constructions which visited the site, admitted that working on the project on CMH Road would be difficult for any contractor because of the narrow space. However, the task force maintained that last week’s mishap was not due to technical error but happened because of the contractor’s negligence, Dr C S Vishwanath said.
“The contractor should have taken adequate care and must have supervised the work. The joining iron bars were not welded properly and the workers did not know about it. All the workers simultaneously came on to one side and due to the heavy load it collapsed,” he added.
Commenting on safety measures at Metro Rail sites, Vishwanath said, “We have had an interaction with engineers and contractors. We have come up with a list of dos and don’ts which can be implemented at the work site. All the engineers have expressed their confidence and assured that they will not let any tragedy happen here.”
He added that the Bangalore Metro project is lagging behind in schedule by at least six months but believed that as the work gains momentum, the delay can be made up.


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