Centre nod for major road projects in state

September 20, 2013

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh,

Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Wednesday said that the central government had approved major road projects in the state, including a six-lane flyover along the national highway-8, construction of flyover at Bahalgarh Chowk and widening of a bridge near Rasoi village in Sonepat district.

The decisions were taken at a meeting with union minister for road transport and highways Oscar Fernandes in New Delhi.

The budget allocation under the head ‘national highway (original)’ had been hiked from `44 crore to `110 crore, Hooda said.

The six-lane flyover will be constructed at Hero Honda Chowk on the Delhi-Jaipur road for about `100 crore and completed in 15 months.

On the NH-1 (Delhi-Panipat-Ambala), Fernandes said the construction work of the flyover at Bahalgarh Chowk and widening of the bridge near Rasoi village would be awarded to a contractor before December 31.

 The allocation had been enhanced for the maintenance and upkeep of the national highways in the state, the chief minister said, adding that Fernandes approved a proposal to construct a highway from Jhajjar to Dwarka in Delhi via Dhansa border on Najafgarh drain for about `100 crore, under the central road fund (inter-state connectivity).


‘Unlike IPL matches, there is no noise when a new road fails’- An Interview-Prof. B.B. Pandey, Advisor – Sponsored Research and Industrial consultancy, IIT Kharagpur

September 18, 2013

Posted by PM News Bureau



— Prof. B.B. Pandey, Advisor – Sponsored Research and Industrial consultancy, IIT Kharagpur


Dr. B.B. Pandey, who has been associated with IIT Kharagpur since 1964, has developed a new technology for maintenance-free rural roads using recycled plastic and an ‘in-vehicle falling weight Deflectometer’ for evaluation of strength of Highways. In this interview with Lalitha Rao, he discusses the state of roads and highways in India and how technology can improve their quality and durability.


Are you satisfied with the current technology used in Indian road construction?

The technology used in India is almost the same as that practiced in developed countries. Many roads in India are constructed without any regard to the quality. Most road builders do not know or do not want to know the finer points of road construction.


Quality control is sacrificed in India in most roads. In USA, quality control tests are done both in contractors’ as well as the government’s laboratory and if the two results are in agreement, the work is accepted. Government’s laboratories in USA have state-of-the-art equipment and laboratory staff appears to be very knowledgeable, as found during my interactions with them.


Our government laboratories in different states are ill equipped and few have the expertise and familiarity with complex nature of tests that are needed for quality control even though the project cost is very high. That is one of the reasons that many of our state and district roads are damaged within two years of the construction as against minimum of five to 10 years of maintenance-free life for a newly constructed road surface in Europe and USA.


There is much hue and cry about the fixing of IPL matches, but there is hardly any commotion when a new road fails in India. Nobody is held accountable. There is no enquiry also.

IIT Kharagpur_Roads_ProjectsMonitor

 In spite of having national standards, why does the quality of national highways differ from state to state?

Leaving aside tolled four- and six-lane national highways built and maintained by private concessionaires to an acceptable standard, other national highways passing through different states are looked after by the respective states. Level of expertise varies greatly from state to state and engineers in some states are a little more knowledgeable. No record of performance of roads is maintained and little effort is made to try different methods to get rid of recurring defects that develop during the service. Hardly new trials are made to develop better specifications. There are a few individuals in every state who are knowledgeable and they have a burning desire to do a good job given the freedom by the seniors in the government organisations.


Different states in India have different climate but practically the same specifications are adopted all over India. This is one of the reasons for widely different performance in different states. Performance of highways is continuously monitored in USA, in different states, and every state amends standards from time to time in light of the performance to suit the local climate. A large amount of fund is set aside by state governments in USA for practical research by universities so that students and faculty can actively participate in the solution of practical problems. Similar is the setup in other countries.


Such a system does not exist in India presently. Hopefully, things will change when right thinking daring officers take charge of the affairs of road infrastructure.


In a tropical country like India, which would you prefer – bituminous roads or concrete roads?

Both cement and bitumen industries employ lakhs and lakhs of people and both forms of roads have to be constructed. Properly built concrete roads are very durable though the initial cost is high. In localities where drainage is poor, bituminous roads get damaged in a short time while concrete roads survive. Bituminous roads are comfortable to drive due to much lower sound while a concrete road is very noisy. Drivers prefer well-made bituminous pavements


You have done research on maintenance-free rural roads using recycled plastic. Can you tell us more about it?

The technology consists of placing a formwork of cells of plastic strips over compacted soil, filling up the cells with concrete and compacting it with a plate vibrator. Alternatively, the cells are filled up with single size stone chips, compacted with a road roller and cement-sand-water slurry is applied over the compacted stone chips. The slurry fills up the void space between stone chips. Upon curing with water, a very strong road is formed which is practically maintenance free, the construction is labour intensive and local villagers are to be involved in cell making.


The technology was used about five years back in Karnataka, at Doddaballapur under Swarn Gram Yojana of the Panchayat Raj Engineering Department, Government of Karnataka. The technology was transferred to engineers of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar. A road was constructed by IIT Kharagpur about eight years back in a village 10 km away and the road is still in good condition with zero maintenance. The cost was 50 per cent of a conventional road. Mizoram is going to adopt the technology in a big way.


What solutions do you have for potholed roads in the metros?A simple technique is now available for pothole repair in a short time. The area around the pothole is heated with LPG, the material is taken out, fresh bitumen is added to the same material along with some new aggregates, and the pothole area is refilled with hot bituminous mix and compacted. The pothole problem is thus fixed. Even when the road is wet, this method can be applied in metros. Cold bituminous mix using cut back or bitumen emulsion can be applied over other roads in dry periods.


Key problems and solutions


If one wants to destabilise a country, destroy its educational system. Our educational system is in shambles. Even in IITs, the students coming from better families lack ethics. Possibly, schools do not teach character building so that students take to righteous path in future. Masses do not have access to education. Lack of education and extreme poverty are root cause of many ills of rural society. They become victims of unsocial elements and commit crimes for a small reward. A good education is a must if we want to develop into a civilised society.


Our school education should emphasise on character building. Teachers have to be paid very high salaries. Unless there is missionary zeal on the part of all involved with flowering boys and girls, we cannot produce great souls in numbers. Teachers should demonstrate, by examples, different scientific experiments in the elementary class itself to generate curiosity in students at an early age. I was fortunate to have been taught science by a teacher in a very average school in Patna who demonstrated scientific experiments in class VIII in 1951. Nowadays it is not happening in most schools.



Barring a few exceptions, the aim of most research in academics is to get doctorate degrees and paper publications in order to get quick promotion for the faculty and a good job for the scholar .Most of the problems are theory based and scholars do get good training. Good investment in the form of scholarship and some additional grant is made in research in science and technology but the outcome is a doctorate thesis and published papers. The country does not benefit directly in terms of new products capable of generating wealth for the country. The Chinese are able to produce wealth because of their focus on applied research. We are not doing much because of lack of direction on the part of funding or user organisations.


Good amount of funds should be spent in time bound basic and applied research with positive outcome in mind so that the country becomes rich. Our import bill is too high compared to export. Now we are buying plenty of equipment from China in spite of having a large number of technical and scientific manpower.



India is not living up to its potential. There is plenty of talent in India. When a scientist goes to US or Europe, he does wonders. We are unable to use our talent. IIT graduates as well as those from NITs and other toppers in science and technology in different universities possess enough brain power and have the capability to lead the country in science and technology but they end up in marketing, banking, management because of attraction of money and glare. Many others who do not get prestigious jobs like those in civil services or paying jobs in private sector end up in research and teaching. It is not difficult to guess why DRDO is not able to produce quality tanks and other gadgets for warfare. Developed countries including China have gone far ahead in this direction. My laboratory, also, has purchased Chinese equipment and it is working fine.


Law enforcement:

Law enforcement is practically nil. Only a fraction of the cases come under the net of the law enforcing agency. Overloading on trucks on roads is to be regulated by motor vehicle department but it is not done in spite of Supreme Court’s directive for the enforcement of the law of the land regarding legal axle load limits of trucks. Roads are damaged in a short time. Huge sum of money invested in the road is lost.


Government policy:

Our policy is good, but its implementation has to be done very strictly. Senior students of schools/and colleges may be involved in a big way in developmental programmes of the government in rural areas, since they are still free from many vices. This sort of activity can be a part of the curriculum. Bookish knowledge alone without any purpose is ruining us.


Farm production:

Agriculture production is not showing much growth. Agricultural research is not making a wide impact. Some areas in Bihar which I visited show very low yield. Huge amount of groundwater is wasted in irrigation. Year after year, increasing amount of fertilisers is being used to maintain the yield. Quality of groundwater is going to be effected. Many areas on the banks of the Ganga in Bhojpur district of Bihar have underground water polluted with arsenic.


Tell us about your invention – weight deflectometer?

Falling Weight deflectometer (FWD) is not my invention. I developed one with the help of students after working on it over a period of six years. Its price in the international market is too high to be affordable by most consultancy and government organisation. The equipment consists of applying an impact load on a road and the deformed profile of the measured. From the impact load and the deformed profile, different layers of a road can be evaluated for its strength without damaging the road. The technology of FWD was transferred to an Indian company who has started manufacturing and selling at 25 per cent of the price of the imported equipment.


So, where does India stand today? Which direction is it headed?

Add to the above answers touching on these issues, the economic slowdown worldwide, on one hand, and subdued market sentiment, lack of political will, policy and reform paralysis, and infrastructure stagnation in India, on the other.


Source- http://www.projectsmonitor.com


Connecting India: It’s still a long, bumpy road ahead

September 18, 2013

By Raghav Chandra

 (When commercial competitiveness…)



The last three years have been remarkable for Indian road infrastructure: projects of 15,000 km were awarded during 2010-13. Yet, there is a huge task ahead. A decade ago, the bulk of the programme was done via the public funding route, today, 90% of highway development is undertaken via public-private partnership (PPP): on a design, build, finance and operate basis, where the private sector is involved in the entire project life cycle and shares commercial risks.


Surprisingly, many bids received did not ask for viability-gap funding and, instead, went for a hefty premium. While such flamboyant bids were a recognition of the unforeseen and untapped multiplier and induction effects of highways networking, they underlined the importance of private funding and effective implementation of contracts.


Some of the most strategically important cities of India are being connected now: for instance, Ahmedabad-Vadodara and Kishangarh-Udaipur-Ahmedabad would connect with Delhi-Jaipur-Ajmer-Kishangarh-Mumbai-Surat-Vadodara to complete the Delhi-Mumbai corridor. Similarly, Gwalior-Shivpuri and Shivpuri-Dewas would fill critical links for another alternate corridor connecting Delhi and Mumbai via commercial Indore. Similarly, Amravati-Jalgaon-Dhule would help connect Hazira port in Gujarat to Paradip port in Odisha and eventually mirror the East-West corridor along India’s economic hinterland of Gujarat and Maharashtra all the way to Kolkata.


But when the economy hits a speed breaker, the projected network externalities appear exaggerated and committed financiers pull back. When a single project languishes, it has a domino effect on all others whose viability suddenly becomes suspect. In normal times, there are challenges of financing because of an asset-liability mismatch and exhaustion of exposure limits of banks. Today, highway development requires stronger commitment to tide over wavering macro fundamentals. Besides, there are many roads of low-commercial viability in economically-backward areas that can only be undertaken through public funding.


But the most critical challenge today is on the implementation side. The National Highways Authority of India is overloaded and focused largely on award of projects. Contract management and oversight to ensure quality construction, maintenance and completion has taken a backseat under the PPP model. The private sector faces a dearth of managerial resources that can competently handle complex issues involved in coordinating with a multiplicity of governmental and local agencies.


While PPP models are useful to support fiscal constraints, they are not perfect panaceas. The government cannot afford to depend on the efficiency of the PPP developer. The former needs to nudge, cajole and guide the concessionaire and work with him to make him fulfil his commitment without compromising on standards, quality and timeliness. The regulatory capture of the independent engineer is a reality that cannot be ignored and discounted.


Further, the involvement of state governments has been missing despite their key role in facilitating acquisition of land, shifting of utilities and providing security and encroachment-free passage for uninterrupted right of way. States, along with their city governments, need to build their own connectivity corridors and spruce up main district roads and municipal roads by adopting innovative methodologies that leverage land and development rights. States should establish Road Development Corporations and vest them with adequate authority and resources. Having the chief minister as the chairman and the chief secretary as the vice-chairman, a model adopted in Madhya Pradesh in early 2004, will ensure highway development gets strategic support.


The challenge is speedy award of remaining highways and effective implementation of already awarded ones. Development of high-speed corridors between important urban centres and specialised connectivity projects is the need of the hour. It is not enough just to have a highway that connects two important points.


When commercial competitiveness is defined by the speed and reduced cost of transaction, it is imperative to have safe access-controlled travel and effective last-mile connectivity.

(The writer is an IAS officer. Views are personal)




Pay toll for expressway replete with roadblocks

September 17, 2013


BANGALORE: The irony of BIA Road is at the far end – Sadahalli gate, where the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) collects a toll from vehicles returning from the airport. Road users are paying through the nose for a journey on a bumpy road punctuated by gridlocks and littered with construction material.Though there was stiff resistance to the toll, NHAI had its way. The road users’ complaints against the arbitrariness of collecting toll when highway upgradation work is still under way, had few takers. The recent heavy showers have revealed that waterlogging is not only the result of poor drainage but also roadblocks created by the upgradation work, road users allege.

An estimated 1.24 lakh passenger car units (PCU) move towards NH-7. Each time it rains, BIA-bound vehicles run into waterlogging at Minsk Square, where absence of proper drainage and ongoing Metro work turns the road in front of GPO into a huge pool. Thursday was no different.

Motorists ran into another rain-aggravated gridlock at Mehkri Circle flyover that night. The next bottleneck was at Sahakarnagar junction.

“Despite the wide roads after Hebbal flyover, the bottlenecks start from Sahakarnagar junction, where the ramp to the elevated expressway is being constructed. Construction is on at snail’s pace here. Adding to the woes,BWSSB has undertaken drainage work by the roadsides,” said D Nagabhushanam, secretary, Sahakarnagar Residents’ Welfare Association.

Thursday night’s bottlenecks were severe after Kogilu Cross up to the trumpet intersection.

“We had resisted toll collection on a road which is yet to be upgraded. Our protests were silenced by the government. The endless construction work has doubled vehicle maintenance cost, as tyres have to be changed every quarter,” Holla slammed the government.

NHAI officials, on the other hand, maintained absolute silence on the poor drainage and problems created by the ongoing upgradation work. “It’s being done on a ‘develop, build, finance, operate and transfer’ model and the concessionaire (Navayuga Engineering) is facing a fund crisis which is causing the delay,” was all they said.


It’s daylight robbery on NH-7 : the National Highways Authority of India is collecting toll for a road which is yet to be built. That the state government has allowed it is also surprising. Work on the expressway has been going on for months now, the highway is a mess, and so are the drains. For commuters, it must be galling to pay up and then get gridlocked. While all infrastructure projects do inconvenience the public, those responsible for the expressway should realize this is a premium road and go about their work in a more organized manner and ensure the drains and roads are in working condition. Ideally, they should have stuck to their deadline and wound up before the monsoon.

Elevated corridor from Dhar Road to Airport Road

September 13, 2013

TNN | Sep 13, 2013, 03.24 AM IST

INDORE: Drive from Dhar Road to Airport Road is going to take less time and congestion-free in a couple of years from now. For an elevated corridor of two-km-long stretch,Indore Development Authority (IDA), IDA board on Thursday appointed a Mumbai-based company to carry out feasibility survey.

IDA CEO Deepak Singh said feasibility survey would be completed in a few months on the basis of which detailed project report (DPR) would be prepared before starting the work on project. With the construction of elevation corridor traffic burden in areas like Chandan Nagar, Gangwal Bus Stand area, Kalani Nagar and Bada Ganpati is expected to reduce and reaching airport will be more comfortable. Currently, residents of Vijay Nagar and Palasia areas have to navigate through narrow lanes of Jawahar Marg and Bada Ganpati areas. The corridor is expected to improve connectivity of airport with other parts of the city.

In another decision, IDA has decided to send a fresh proposal for construction of 2.5 km-long Major Road (MR) 5 to the state government. The road under Master Plan 2021 will be 45 metre wide and starting from Laxmibai Statue tri-section and passing through Wire Square, Itwariya Haat, Swaria Nagar, Suvidhi Nagar and ends at Super Corridor near Bohara Colony crossing.

The board has decided to appoint Gurgaon-based company as transaction advisor for construction of stadium and swimming pool at scheme number 94 on the Ring Road and proposed water park-cum-amusement park at Meghdoot Garden.

The IDA has given its consent for construction of a planetarium at regional park and for this it will donate Rs 1 crore to the IMC.

Delay road project, be ready for zero toll

September 13, 2013



New Delhi, Sept. 12: Motorists will not pay any toll for the period by which a private contractor widening a national highway overshoots the deadline, says a proposal sent to the cabinet for approval.

It adds that the toll will be slashed by 25 per cent from the day the widening project starts till the day the deadline arrives.

The proposal by the Union road transport and highways ministry comes after motorists complained about having to pay for driving on highways damaged by ongoing construction of lanes parallel to them. The move is also aimed at prodding the contractors to finish projects on time.

A toll is now charged only on highways with four or more lanes, but there is no exemption if some of the lanes are under construction. For instance, a private contractor can start charging toll on a two-lane highway from Day One of the project to build two additional lanes.

Contractors, therefore, lack an incentive to finish work on time. Widening a four-lane highway, on the other hand, brings no additional toll because it’s the length of a national highway and not its width that determines the rate.

“If a contractor is widening a four-lane road, he cannot charge a higher toll after completing the project — so why should he bother finishing it?” a ministry official said.


“Besides, the contractors fund the projects with the toll they collect instead of investing fresh money. The pace of the project, therefore, slows down since it depends on the trickle of the toll instead of a big capital investment.”

Under the proposed policy, motorists will pay 75 per cent of the toll while a two-lane or four-lane road is being widened. If the project is unfinished when the deadline arrives, they will pay nothing till construction is complete.

If the new policy is cleared, the government too will have to pull up its socks because bureaucratic tardiness is also a factor in highway projects getting delayed. Acquiring land and getting clearances from the environment and other ministries is the government’s responsibility.

“We have decided that tenders will not be floated for any project till 80 per cent of the required land is acquired,” the official said.

The proposed policy provides for a steeper penalty for overloaded vehicles and, unlike now, allows a higher toll on expressways (which don’t allow pedestrian crossings and have no traffic intersections) than on other national highways.

After much debate with the Planning Commission, which wanted the expressway toll to be several times higher than the highway toll, the ministry has proposed that the expressway toll will be 1.25 times the highway toll.

The ministry had been working on this policy for the past one year. The “zero toll” clause for exceeding the deadline owes to the new minister, Oscar Fernandes.

If the policy is approved soon, it will apply to the contracts to be awarded this financial year for the construction of at least 2,500km of roadways. The last toll policy was framed in 2008; the one before it in 1997.


Most highway projects are now awarded on a build-operate-toll mode. A private contractor spends his own money to build or widen a road and collects toll on it for an agreed period of 15 to 25 years. A portion of the collections goes to the National Highway Authority of India.


Highlights of the proposed national highway toll policy


• Toll for a four-lane road can be charged on wo-lane highway the day widening starts

• No financial disincentive for private contractor for project delay


• Only 75 per cent of the toll can be charged from Day One of project till deadline

• If deadline exceeded, zero toll till project is complete




Committee set up to improve 1,700 km roads in TN

September 12, 2013


An empowered committee has been formed to ensure better coordination between various departments for implementing a project to improve 1,700 km of roads across Tamil Nadu in a time-bound manner.

The Union Department of Economic Affairs had proposed the Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project-II for accessing the $300-million assistance from the World Bank. The committee will be headed by the State Minister of Highways and Minor Ports as chairman.

The committee, while having the Minister as chairman, will have Chief Secretary, Principal Secretaries to Finance and Highways and Minor Ports Departments besides Project Director of the Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project as members.

The action plan for the project, approved by the government, involves financial strategy such as tolling of high-density traffic corridors, levy of cess on motor fuel and /or motor vehicle tax and ring fencing into State road fund.


New World Bank funds for India projects

September 12, 2013

Written by Helen Wright

The World Bank has approved two financing packages worth a total of US$ 318 million to support road improvement projects and low income housing development in India.

The bulk of the funds – US$ 216 million – will support construction of the government’s Stage Transport Project II (KSTP II) in the south-western state of Kerala.

The funds will be used to upgrade 363 km of strategically important state highways. Of the 4,340 km of Keralan highways, around 70% are still single-lane with 54% in poor condition, according to the World Bank.

Another financing package worth US$ 100 million will be used to support India’s national Low Income Housing Finance Project through the National Housing Bank.

The World Bank estimates that India’s urban population will hit 600 million by 2031 – more than double that in 2001. Housing shortages in India are also acute: the 2012 urban housing backlog was estimated at 19 million, indicating that one fourth of the urban dwellers are living in inadequate housing or are homeless.

Onno Ruhl, World Bank country director for India said, “This project will allow low-income households to switch from expensive informal finance to longer-term, formal sources for their housing needs. This we expect will contribute to an average increase in incomes of people at the bottom of the pyramid.”



ADB grants $300 million for road project in India

August 17, 2013


The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide a financing package of $300 million to fund a road development project in the state of Bihar.


The country intends to use the funds for Bihar State Highways II Project, which will upgrade 254 kilometers of severely deteriorated highway in northern and southern Bihar. The project will widen existing sections of four highways to two lanes, build and maintain bridges, and strengthen pavement. This should optimize access to the state highway network for beneficiaries living in remote villages.

The project will also use a $1 million from the allotted funds to prepare a 20-year road master plan for Bihar state. The project will also focus on improving the road design that will help address future flooding. To offset carbon emissions, the project will plant 10 trees for every individual tree cut for road widening. Solar panels will be used at construction sites to sequester carbon and reduce carbon emissions.

Stated for completion in October 2017, the estimated outlay of the Bihar State Highways II Project is $375 million. The remaining funding for the project will be provided by the government of India.



Road plans good only on paper: High court

August 14, 2013

Rosy Sequeira, TNN |

MUMBAI: Trying to cover up for its shoddy job so far, the BMC on Tuesday told the Bombay high court that it is working towards utility mapping and coordinated placement of underground cables to ensure conditions of roads did not suffer in future.

The BMC explained its proposals to the HC, which took a suo motu cognizance of potholed stretches in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. “Your paperwork is good but results are not there,” the HC told the civic body.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Tuesday told Bombay High Court that it is working towards utility mapping and coordinated placement of under ground utilities to provide for good roads in future for Mumbai.

Highways leading to Mumbai were excellent but one realizes “you have entered the municipal limits by looking at the condition of the roads”, a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha observed. “All of us want proper roads. Property prices are so high, people cannot afford to buy flats in south Mumbai. They stay far away and commute the distance. Roads are the arteries of a city. If you give good roads, people don’t mind staying 50km away,” said Justice Shah, adding that good roads cut down , adding that smooth roads and good connectivity can cut down on commute time.

Defending the civic body, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kumar claimed that indiscriminate digging of roads to lay underground cables for services such as phone, water, gas, electricity and petroleum led to potholes. “We have 1,941 km roads in Mumbai and every year, we have to allow digging of 400-450km, either to lay cables or repair them,” he said. When the judges asked if the ducts could be laid in such a way that roads did not have to be dug up every time service providers had to work on cables, Kunte said they had come up with two measures that might solve the problem-utility mapping and coordinated placement of utility cables. “We are working on a road map. Once we get our hand on the utility problem it will be an enduring solution,” said Kunte. The judges asked what civic bodies across the world did to maintain roads. “There is coordinated placement of utilities. Whichever city manages utilities properly, has cut down on digging,” said Kunte.

The civic chief said tenders were awarded, as mentioned by the Standard Technical Advisory Committee rules, only to the lowest bidder, meeting all criteria. “Your paperwork is good but results are not there,” Justice Shah riposted, questioning if the BMC could pay contractors over five years, settling only 20% of the cost per year so that the shoddy firms could be exposed. “The contractors will have to hike prices but you are assured of quality,” said Justice Shah.

The judges also questioned why all agencies, such as MSRDC and MMRDA, could not jointly award road contracts. But MMRDA commissioner U P S Madan said the agencies worked under individual boards and the BMC under the Standing Committee. The judges also questioned why all the agencies, such as MSRDC and MMRDA, could not jointly award road contracts. But MMRDA commissioner U P S Madan said it was difficult as state agencies worked under individual boards and the standing committee approved BMC contracts. MMRDA’s additional metropolitan commissioner Ashwini Bhide said the BMC maintained 85% roads, while the state agency had absolutely new roads. The size of tender packages was another reason why the MMRDA attracted bigger players and could construct quality roads, she said.

While urban development department state principal secretary Shrikant Singh blamed improper draining of water for asphalt stretches not stabilizing, Advocate General Darius Khambata said there was no agreement on the technology to surface different roads.

The HC added Mira-Bhayander and Vasai-Virar civic bodies as party to the case and directed the BMC, TMC and NMMC to submit their action plans at the next hearing on September 5.

He added that the city had been undergoing transformation and the constant installation of waterlines, sewerage, Metro and Monorail utilities, natural gas and IT worsened the road condition.

He said utilities is a major problem and there is a move towards a master plan for it in future including ducting and other methods.





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