BBMP’s asphalt mix plant ready

The asphalt mix plant that has come up at Kannur, on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

The asphalt mix plant that has come up at Kannur, on the outskirts of Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

With this facility, the civic body hopes to bring in more accountability and reduce its dependence on contractors

The city’s pothole-ridden roads have grown in notoriety, with even the High Court of Karnataka pulling up the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for its failure to address the problem. In an attempt to bring in more accountability and reduce its dependence on contractors, the BBMP has set up an asphalt mix plant.

In the present system, it is the contractor who provides the asphalt mix which could be of questionable quality, leaving the BBMP with no option but to take a gamble on the longevity of the patch-work. The hope is that by producing its own asphalt, the civic body will be able to exert more quality control.

The plant at Kannur, which is around 20 km from the city, was ready to be commissioned around two months ago. For the past months, we have been doing trial runs, said a senior civic official. The plant has been set up on around four acres of land owned by the BBMP. “The civic body spent nearly ₹5 crore on setting up the plant. The annual maintenance contract for running the plant has been outsourced,” the official said.

Computerised plant

According to senior officials, the civic body has created a digital platform for the plant on which requisitions or indents can be placed by different divisions. The plant is also computerised. After each batch is prepared, digital reports are generated immediately showing the percentage of different components that have gone in. “With this, we have complete control over the quality of asphalt mix that is manufactured, and there is no compromise. Earlier, we had to depend on the contractors, and procuring asphalt was also an issue,” officials said, and added that the plant would soon be fully functional.

The plant has the capacity to manufacture around 100 to 120 tonnes of hot mix per hour. Officials claimed that around 40 tractor loads of asphalt mix could be dispatched from the plant per day.

To transport the asphalt hot mix to different parts of the city, there are two special vehicles. “The asphalt mix has to be maintained at a certain temperature. If the temperature drops, the mix cannot be used to fill potholes,” officials explained, and said that the special vehicles are equipped to maintain the temperature for a maximum of four hours.

“The hot mix from the plant can be transported to any part of the city within two hours,” officials claimed.

Probe handed over to ACB

In the wake of allegations that there have been irregularities in the pothole-filling exercise taken up by the BBMP from 2015 to 2018, the Urban Development Department (UDD) has handed over the probe to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). Probe into the allegation of diversion of funds allocated for Swachh Bharat Mission in 2017-18 has also been handed over to the ACB.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 11:20:51 PM |

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