Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Roadmap

The Roadmap

The result of shoddy surface, improper drainage system and regular road digging which weakens the stretch. Other reasons are constant water leakage, diesel and petrol leak How it has to be tackled: Should be cleaned like a wound. Suppose the pothole is of 30 cm by 30 cm, about 5 cm extra stretch should be vertically cut; all the loose soil - sand, jelly, gravel — should be cleared. Then fill it with bitumen coat What is actually done: Dumping some asphalt mix into the gaping hole and shutting it
How long do our roads last?
Though a well-laid road should last for about three years enduring rain fury and heavy movement of vehicles, Bangalore roads last for about only a year
How roads should be handled as per the rulebook
Technically, any road repair work comprises two layers of asphalt — bottom layer of 20 mm to 40 mm thickness of bitumen macadam for the rectification of camber followed by 40 mm thickness of layer bituminous concrete. On this, a road roller has to pass at least 12 to 24 times for the asphalt to settle down
What actually happens at the workspot
Instead of the prescribed 80 mm thickness of both bitumen macadam and bituminous concrete layers, roads are laid with an asphalt mix of 45 mm to 50 mm. And instead of a minimum 12 rounds of road roller, the vehicle is rolled only about five to six times. What more, one spell of rain and the roads open up!
Road Standards According to road experts, the standards for laying a new road are as follows
As per the Indian Road Congress (IRC) specification, roads can be resurfaced once in three to five years if the road is built as per the standards specified. A good road has to comprise four layers — the base layer with a gravel sub-base which is minimum one foot thick; then is the mettling with either water bound macadam or wet mix macadam. The third layer is of bituminous macadam which is 50-75 mm thick. The fourth and the top layer is a protective tier which is called mix seal. It has to have a thickness of 25 mm. A road with this specification costs Rs 50 lakh per km for 3.5 mtr carriageway and Rs 1 crore per km for seven mtr carriageway.
What actually is done
Instead of laying the four required layers, work is completed by laying just two layers — the result is less lifespan. Any high capacity road needs recoating of asphalt at least once in five years and the city roads have to be asphalted once in three years
Money spent
Annually, the BBMP spends about Rs 500 crore on roads — laying blacktop for all roads, maintenance and road repairs, redoing of road cut portions, formation, widening and metalling of zonal roads, asphalting of zonal roads
Major roads are taken up for a complete facelift, but just after one rain, the roads open up


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