Traffic snarls due to blockage of roads to fill potholes on major stretches could be passe, as a scientist has offered a quick-fix solution.
'Kandhal mix' — a ready-to-use cold asphalt mix formulated by Prithvi Singh Kandhal, former professor of the National Centre for Asphalt Technology, Auburn University — comes with the advantage of not having to wait for it to set before being thrown open to vehicles.
Top sources in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) confirmed that this would be procured in small quantities and used on a pilot basis.
Conducting a demonstration at the Indian Institute of Science following a workshop on pothole solutions, Kandhal said he was willing to offer the formula to the Palike free of cost.
Available in 50 kg packs, the concrete mix is poured into potholes and set using a hand-rammer. Put a layer of sand or dry leaves on the mix, and vehicles are ready to go. "The more the number of vehicles that pass over the mix, the better it sets in," said Kandhal.
The BBMP is presently using cold mix to asphalt roads in emergency conditions. However, vehicular movement is restricted until the asphalt sets. While the Palike resorts to mixing materials at site, Kandhal mix comes in ready-to-use packets.
In the bitumen emulsion and aggregate mix that is currently being used, the setting time may mean several hours depending on weather conditions. "Once the rain stops, the surface is cleaned and potholes filled. The mix is prepared in situ," said S Somashekar, chief engineer, road infrastructure, BBMP.
While the hot mix is manufactured in large quantities to fill potholes, the Kandhal mix could be used in small quantities as it is available in packs. Its production cost is Rs 6 a kilo. Currently, the mix is being used in parts of Jaipur.
The professor also said the mixture can be laid on potholes just one hour after the rain. "One common reason authorities give for not fixing potholes is rain. This is foolproof even that way. Once the rain stops, an hour's gap is all that's needed for work to commence," he said.