Monday, September 06, 2010

Potholes will stay till Nov

Potholes will stay till Nov
The cash-strapped BBMP can’t afford special technology that is needed to carry out repairs during the monsoon
S Kushala

If potholed roads are ruining your commute, learn to live to with it, at least till mid-November. Last week, BBMP commissioner H Siddaiah issued a circular not to take up any road asphalting work till November 15. The reason is the cost.
“Laying new roads or carrying out asphalting in damp conditions requires a thicker grade of bituminous mixture. We have estimated that the cost would be 180 per cent more than what it is in dry conditions. Hence, we issued a circular to stop all road works till the end of the monsoon,” BBMP chief engineer (storm water drain and major roads) Chikkarayappa told Bangalore Mirror.
While the erstwhile BMP, covering 226 sq km, had a road network of nearly 3,000 km, BBMP has to deal with about 10,000 km.
The worst sufferers will be people living in the newly-added pockets. In most such places, black top roads were laid in places that had none earlier. But, these newly-laid roads are in deplorable condition.
On an average, BBMP spends nearly Rs 500 crore to Rs 700 crore every year on road-related works. In the 2010-11 budget, the allocation is over Rs 1,000 crore. These works comprise asphalting, white topping (concrete roads), black topping (tar roads), high density roads, pothole clearance and ward roads.
The BBMP spends Rs 13 lakh per km to lay a new basic road (two-lane stretch) and up to Rs 1 crore per km for a high density/major corridor.
As per standards, a new road comprises a single layer of water-borne macadam (a mixture of quarry dust and jelly stones) that is 200 mm to 250 mm thick.
During asphalting (fresh coat), a 40 mm to 50 mm layer of bituminous macadam or bituminous concrete is put on the road.
In case of a high-density stretch, a combination of all three mixtures is used, a BBMP engineer explained.
Roads get damaged if the contractor does not use the correct mixture in the right proportion. The result is roads getting washed away after a single downpour or potholes


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