Though a comprehensive reconstruction of roads, instead of mere restoration, was proposed for some stretches that run for 165 km in the city, it still remains on paper
It’s a cycle that repeats with unerring regularity in the city. Roads get damaged, and there is a hue and cry. The civic administration swings into action, potholes are filled and damaged stretches are re-carpeted at a considerable expense.
It lasts for a few days, a few weeks. Then, the roads start showing cracks, surfaces start to get peeled off, potholes return, and the stretches are again back to their old shape. And the travails of road users continue.
What exactly ails the city roads and prevents them from getting properly restored to offer a smooth ride? Is it lack of technology or experienced engineers or adequate funds, or a sum of all these factors?
The GHMC says good results were recorded by the technology adopted for work on 23 stretches during CoP-11 last year. As part of this, while laying roads, milling was taken up to maintain profile and camber correction for uniform layer for better compaction and riding conditions.
In response to a question at the last council meeting, it was stated that this yielded good results, and that the same method would be taken up while re-carpeting major roads and continuous stretches in future.
The meeting also had several corporators and floor leaders complaining about bad quality work, absence of monitoring and no debarment of erring contractors. Senior officials highlight shortage of dedicated engineering cadre with the civic body, and how efforts to recruit Assistant Engineers end up with the recruitment of a few, with some of them moving out soon. The GHMC expects to get around 260 Assistant Engineers.
The intensity of rain beyond a certain limit ends up with accumulation of water on roads, says an official, adding, “In case of heavy downpour, roads end up acting as drains. It is a universal urban phenomenon.”
As a more lasting solution, a comprehensive reconstruction of roads, instead of mere restoration, has been proposed for some stretches that run for 165 km in the city, but it remains on paper.
On a pilot basis, work will be taken up on the stretches of Lakdikapul to Masab Tank, Indira Park to RTC Crossroads and Kacheguda railway station.
The proposal is to remove the existing road layers completely and lay a completely new and well-designed stretch, at a cost more than twice the regular estimate. However, the Corporation says it ran into issues with the traffic police on initiating the work.
“This entails making the stretch available by blocking traffic and allowing removal of layers and replacing the same with new ones. The traffic police are not sure as to how to manage the vehicles if the stretches are to be blocked,” the official says.