Online survey to decide Pune’s road hierarchy

October 31, 2013


PUNE: A group of researchers and urban planners in the city are working to define road hierarchy for better roads and traffic management with an online survey available on the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the group’s websites.The civic body has mooted the initiative to get the roads in the city designed by architects and urban designers. The group called Sustainability Initiative (SI) is coordinating the online survey.

“Urban streets are related to urban sustainability. We are working with the civic body on developing the ‘Urban Street Design Guidelines’. These guidelines will serve as the base document for designers and decision makers,” said Shraddha Zende, programme coordinator, on Wednesday.

The guidelines will consider technical and physical aspects of the city. Many codes and case studies are being referred to. The road department, traffic police, Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited, NGOs and related authorities are being consulted to recommend street designs.

Team member Nikhil Mijar said the group has decided to involve people in the consultation process to understand their opinions and expectations. “A well-designed street is where small children and the old people feel safe to walk, where all road users get equitable rights of use. To bring about this change, it is important to know what people want and expect from the streets,” he said.

Dwaipayan Chakravarty, another team member for the project, said the group will also work on defining the road hierarchy according to usage and utility. “The city lacks planned development. So the group will try to categorise the roads as per the hierarchy based on its size, traffic movement, location and width. The categories like arterial roads, feeder corridors, local streets and special streets will help manage traffic and other activities on the road.”

What is road hierarchy?

It makes a difference between roads according to their function

At the top of the rung are arterial routes that carry high volumes of through traffic

Roads at the lower rung of the road hierarchy have importance at the local level, like access to local places and may have lesser vehicles

Surat-Nashik road connectivity on the cards

October 28, 2013

Tushar Pawar, TNN

NASHIK: Road connectivity between Surat and Nashik is set to improve, with the Gujarat government taking up paving work of the Surat-Nashik Road, Gujarat principal secretary S S Rathore said in Nashik on Saturday.

Rathore, principal secretary, department of roads & buildings of the Gujarat government, was attending a engineers’ award presentation at the Nashik centre of The Institution of Engineers (India) on Saturday. “We are focusing on improving connectivity between Gujarat and Maharashtra, from Surat to Saputra, which is the border of Gujrat adjacent to Nashik district. We have already handed over a road to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for widening. Around 98 per cent work has already been completed, while the rest of the stretch before Saputara is to be developed shortly,” Rathore said at the programme.

Rathore said, “We are planning to develop 18,000 km of roads across the state of Gujarat over the next few years. We have improved connectivity between districts. We have also improved road connectivity in 98 per cent of villages. We have decided to resurface roads that are over seven years old.”

S Subrahmanyan, managing director of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) said, “There are several technological challenges and engineers must focus on finding solutions over these. They must be innovative to bring quality and competitiveness.”

Sanjay Khandare, Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) commissioner also attended the event.

Various engineering awards instituted by the Nashik local centre of The Institution of Engineers (India) were presented at the event to Anil Lodha, Nayana S Rao, Rajesh Atmaram Patil, Chandrashekhar N Kulkarni, Rajan Bhagawat, professor Prakash Kadave, Naresh Sahare, Vikas Agrawal, Ghanashyam Patil, Atul Jadhav, Sopan Talekar, Shrikant Agarkar, Smita Paithankar, Manisha Suryavanshi and Priyanka Shirude.



HC orders supervision of road resurfacing, repairs

October 25, 2013



AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court on Thursday asked the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation ( AMC) to form a team to supervise post-monsoon road resurfacing work in the city to ensure that quality standards are maintained as mentioned in the terms of the contract.The court passed this interim order in response to a PIL filed by Ahmedabad Traffic Consultative Committee seeking directions to the authorities for improvement of city roads and for penal action against erring contractors for sub-standard work. The petitioner’s counsel Parth Contractor said that the civic body had sought time till beyond vacation to file a reply but, by then, road repair and resurfacing work would be over. Hence, to ensure that the construction quality does not suffer, the court had passed this interim order.Besides improvement of the condition of city roads and action against contractors and officials, the PIL also demanded immediate cancellation of work orders given to the same contractors whose poor work had been exposed several times. It pointed out that construction and resurfacing of roads are required to be monitored to maintain quality, especially when defaulting contractors have been re-awarded the contracts.

Citing examples of dilapidated roads on various stretches in the city, the PIL has urged the court to ask the Road and Buildings Department to perform its statutory duty so that people do not suffer. It has also requested the court to compel the authorities to publicize details of the contractors, the value of the contract and the project duration in order to bring transparency and accountability in the allotment of contracts.

The PIL has also demanded that a third-party consultant is required in order to monitor and examine the road-worthiness of the newly laid and resurfaced roads of the city.


NMMC nod to flyover connecting Nerul east, west

October 24, 2013

B B Nayak, TNN |


NAVI MUMBAI: The new flyover project to connect Nerul east to west near the railway station recently got the civic body’s nod.A budget of Rs28.24 crore has been allocated for the civic project and tenders for the construction will be floated soon.

The flyover will connect sectors 21 and 28 between Nerul police station and Terna Institute on the Seawood end of railway station.

Residents have been demanding this flyover for a long time. This link will reduce the travelling time of the people from both sides in the node. Currently, the residents risk their lives by crossing the railway tracks to cut down on time.

“It’s good news for the locals. If we want to cross from east to west, we have to take longer route via the Rajiv Gandhi flyover at the Juinagar end or use the Seawoods flyover at the CBD end. The distance between these two flyovers is 4km,” said Rajesh Poojary, a local resident.

The general body of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) recently gave its nod to float tenders and issue work order.

“The whole process of floating tenders and issuing the work order will be around three months and the project has a deadline of 18 months after commencement. The technical details and blueprint are yet to be chalked out. This will solve the travelling woes of the people residing in this node,” said an official.

The flyover will be used for light vehicles and have footpaths on both sides. Cars, auto-rickshaws, three-wheeler tempos and motorcycles will be allowed to ply on this flyover.

The Rajiv Gandhi and Seawoods flyovers will continue to be used by the heavy vehicles. “This will be the third flyover in Nerul ,” said an officer.

BMC spent Rs 8cr on road repairs that were ‘free’

October 23, 2013

By Pandurang Mhaske, Mumbai Mirror |

BMC spent Rs 8cr on road repairs that were ‘free’


The city administration squandered Rs 8.44 crore of taxpayers’ money by hiring a contractor to repair a stretch of SV Road even though the work could have been done for free, a recent audit has revealed.The company that originally constructed the 2.5-km stretch in Borivali in 2007 was bound by the contract to fix road defects for no extra cost till December 2012.

But the BMC did not bother to study the agreement and hired another contractor to repair the stretch in April 2012, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India found after scrutinising roadwork orders of the past few years.

The BMC has been facing public anger over its failure to improve the condition of the city’s thoroughfares despite spending crores on road contracts every year. Activists have repeatedly found faults in its process of awarding contracts, and have pointed to a nexus between officials and contractors.

The latest embarrassment is the result of the BMC’s poor coordination with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). The state government had in 2005 tasked the MMRDA with widening and improving SV Road, from Bandra to Borivali. MMRDA officials awarded the contract, with a defect liability clause extending to December 2012, to Valecha Engineering.

The company completed the work in December 2007, and the MMDRA handed over the responsibility of the 25-km SV Road to the municipal corporation. Last year, the BMC found that the condition of the stretch between Forest Road intersection and Chandavarkar junction in Borivali (W) had worsened drastically with paver blocks coming off at many places along the divider and on the pavements. This was causing severe traffic snarls.

Instead of consulting the MMRDA and finding out if the original contractor was legally liable to repair the stretch, the BMC invited tenders for the work. On April 26 last year, it awarded the Rs 8.44-crore contract to ME Infrastructure. Public auditor CAG has questioned the logic behind paying for repairs when they could have been done for free.

An official in the BMC’s road department said that Valecha Engineering’s guarantee period had become invalid because of subsequent work by the civic body to fix damaged utilities under the road.

However, the original contract clearly said that the company would have to carry out repairs till December 2012 for additional cost.

Additional Municipal Commissioner SVR Shrinivasan, who is in charge of the road department, said that he would look into the issue.

PWD to spend Rs 1,000 crore to repair roads

October 23, 2013

By Express News Service – BANGALORE


The Public Works Department will spend `1,000 crore to repair highway networks, including district roads, damaged due to heavy rains.

Public Works Minister H C Mahadevappa told reporters here on Tuesday that the department officials are preparing an action plan in this regard. Later, it will be submitted to the Finance Department for release of funds, he added.

About 1,000 km of main district roads and 177 km of State Highway (SH) were damaged badly, the minister said adding the work of repair would be taken up on war footing and would be completed by the end of February.

He said the department has already taken up repair of over 3,000 km stretch of SH in phase I, which is in final stage of completion.

“The phase II will be taken up based on the availability of funds,” he added.

To a question, the minister said the government has cleared an arrears of `250 crore to contractors and another `850 crore yet to be paid.

“The government will take steps to see that all the arrears due to the contractors will be paid soon,” he said.

The Indian Road Congress and PWD are jointly organising a two-day workshop on promoting usage of new technologies, materials, techniques and equipments in road construction here from Wednesday.

Renowned engineers and experts will deliver lectures on the occasion.

Director, Quality, Research and Development, M/s Orafol Europe GmbH, Ireland, Daniel Berger, director Param Preet Singh and DGM Avantech Engineering Consortium, New Delhi, Vikant Raina will also take part in the event, he said.

An exhibition will also be organised on the occasion, he said.


Muncicipal corporation to begin road repairs next week

October 21, 2013


KOLKATA: After an aborted attempt to repair the city’s roads before the Pujas, the civic body is gearing up to take up the job next week.

Earlier, mayor Sovan Chatterjee had asked the Kolkata Muncicipal Corporation (KMC) roads department officials to undertake the repair drive by September 29. The deadline was set after consultation with urban development minister Firhad Hakim. Though the work had started on a war footing after both the mayor and the minister surveyed the worst stretches, the repairs could not be completed due to frequent rain before the Pujas.

 But now, the repair plan has been revived by the KMC roads department. According to plans, the KMC will start with two major connector roads to the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.

“First, we will take up the Anwar Shah Road connector. Large stretches of this vital road are lying in a sorry state. We had tried to repair some of these before the Pujas. But those were merely patchworks. Now we will concentrate on thorough repairs. We have also decided to lay parts of the road with mastic asphalt,” said a KMC roads department official.

After completion of the Anwar Shah Road connector, the civic body will take up the Rashbehari Avenue connector, the official said. “We have to spend around Rs 5crore in the first phase of repair of these two major connectors,” the civic official said.

However, the drive won’t include Diamond Harbour Road, sources in the KMC roads department said on Saturday. “Diamond Harbour Road belongs to state PWD. They have a separate plan for its repair,” said Susanta Ghosh, the MMiC overseeing the KMC roads department.

A PWD official said only patchwork will be done on some stretches of DH Road. “At this point, we can’t undertake thorough repair of the road as the Metro extension work is on and the contractors need to dig the road further,” the PWD official said.

The KMC, however, has plans to repair other roads, too. “We plan to repair Seven Tanks Lane and Bowbazar Street. We had tried to do some patchwork on these roads before the festive season. We also plan to repair Amherst Street, JL Nehru Road, Deshapran Sashmal Road and Anwar Shah Road, among others,” said a KMC roads department official.

These apart, the civic body will also take up repair of roads along tram tracks like Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road, Nirmal Chandra Street and Rabindra Sarani, among others.



Contractors cheated BMC out of crores

October 19, 2013

Hemali Chhapia & Bhavika Jain, TNN


MUMBAI: An internal audit by the BMC of its road and traffic department has revealed that in many road projects standard procedures were not followed, rules ignored and costs escalated beyond permissible limits.In one instance, the civic corporation paid Rs 9.7 crore above the contract cost of Rs 121.7 crore for the construction of a road overbridge in Jogeshwari. The contractor argued the fatter bill by claiming price escalations. But why the civic body consented is unknown given that, as per rules, the maximum price variation can be 5% of the contract cost-—which in this case comes to Rs 6.1 crore.

RTI activist Vihar Durve demanded strict action against errant officers. “Compliance with earlier inspection reports is pending. For 1996-97 and 2000-01 periods, no explanation has been furnished on why undue benefit accrued to contractors. In many cases, final bills have not been submitted. Such tardiness is unacceptable,” said Durve. Some officials conceded that departments ignore auditors’ remarks and do not take corrective action. Additional municipal commissioner S V R Srinivas, who is in charge of the roads department , said on Friday that he cannot comment on the inspection report until he reads it.

Others, however, argued against the specific points in the audit. They said that contractors are paid extra for transportation of debris, despite the job being part of their contracts, if the distance from the work site to the dumping ground is high. Also, they said, roads dug up by multiple utility agencies can be rebuilt within their guarantee period.

No relief from bad roads till Dec-Jan

October 8, 2013

Anjaya Anparthi, TNN |

NAGPUR: The citizens will have to continue facing potholes and bad roads till December or even January. Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) standing committee chairman Avinash Thakre on Monday accepted that his plans to asphalt all roads by Diwali had failed but blamed the administration for delay.The standing committee in its meeting on Monday okayed Rs 30.35 crore for repairing 63 city roads. Thakre said it would take at least 63 days for issuing work orders to the private contractors. “Tendering process will be started followed by zeroing in on qualified contractors. Then the proposals to seek approval for issuing the work orders will come before the standing committee followed by issuing work orders. The contractors will start work after completing formalities. Therefore, the works may start only by December,” he said.

Tbout pending road works worth Rs 70 crore, Thakre said the standing committee was yet to receive the proposals for administrative approval. “These works are of interior roads. I will talk about them only after receiving the proposals,” he said. NMC sources said works on remaining roads will be delayed even more. “They will start only by January 2014,” they said.

Thakre blamed municipal commissioner Shyam Wardhane for latter’s failure to pursue the proposals. “Proposals could come for approval on Monday only due to initiative taken by me. I inspected all roads personally and pursued the proposals. Why civic chief could not ensure that proposals came for approval in time,” he asked.

Thakre also came down heavily on the state government for not sanctioning funds for repairing damage caused by floods. “Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan announced Rs 100 crore compensation for damage to roads and other infrastructure. We are still waiting for the funds. I think the CM is just busy cutting ribbons,” he said.

About contractors refusing to repair roads under defect liability period, Thakre said six roads under defect liability period got damaged. “I have given clear directives to the administration to get the work done from respective contractors. No relaxation will be given on the ground of heavy rains,” he said. He added that approval was also given to other works related to roads like repairing of road-dividers, construction of storm water drains etc.

About financial loss due to delay in Rahatekarwadi bridge, Thakre said, “NMC will bear additional expense due to increase in scope of works. It was engineers and consultant did not prepare the proposal properly. Action will be taken against those responsible,” he said.

Thakre also announced a medical insurance scheme for the poor and said 12,722 families would benefit by it. “Medical assistance of Rs 30,000 and life insurance of Rs 25,000 will be provided. There are 98,696 BPL families in the city. More families will be covered under the scheme if applications come in,” he said.

Governor seeks action on roads in fringes

October 7, 2013


PUNE: Governor K Sankaranarayanan has directed the state Urban Development (UD) department to take appropriate actions to widen roads in the 23 merged villages in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits.Despite the civic administration approving the road widening proposal, the PMC standing committee continues to let it gather dust. Ujjwala Dandekar, under secretary to the governor, in her letter to the state UD has said, “As per the orders (of governor), the letter submitted by corporator Aba Bagul is being forwarded for necessary action.”

In March 2011, Congress corporator Aba Bagul had proposed that the roads in the merged villages be widened by 50% anticipating the increase in the number of vehicles. Bagul had forwarded the proposal to the standing committee, which had sent it to the civic administration. The villages have a 1,000-km road network. The civic administration agreed to the proposal saying that the plan was feasible and can be implemented.

“Since then the proposal is pending with the standing committee. I requested the municipal commissioner to go ahead with the proposal and start widening roads using his special powers. However, there has been no response on the matter, so far. I approached the governor and urged him to direct the UD to take appropriate action. I hope the PMC will take serious note,” said Bagul.

The Development Plan (DP) for 23 villages merged in the civic limits was prepared in 2000 and the vehicular movement has increased considerably.

The standing committee has to decide and then implementation is possible. The panel’s members said the Congress has to take a stand and support Bagul. “The Congress should take a concrete stand and only then the committee will be able to take decision,” said one of the standing committee members.

However, only one faction of the Congress has expressed opposition to Bagul’s proposal. “I don’t know why some people are opposing the proposal and whose interests will be hampered if it is approved. However, road widening is necessary as merged villages are facing traffic congestion,” said Bagul.



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