Poor planning, worse execution: IISc expert

Poor planning, worse execution: IISc expert

Technically, it is crucial to understand why the existing bituminous roads had to make way for concrete roads.

An expert at Indian Institute of Science says the ‘white-topping’ project is ill-conceived. Dr Ashish Verma, associate professor, transportation and systems engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru questions the very rationale for selection of roads for the Rs 986.64-crore project.

“What were the problems on these roads that made the government take up this project?” he said.

Slabs on the road

Technically, it is crucial to understand why the existing bituminous roads had to make way for concrete roads.

The way the project is being executed is a cause of concern. Simply putting a concrete slab over the existing road, without removing the existing road, is what is happening now. This method will substantially raise the height of the road.

Also read: BBMP’s concrete roads a criminal waste of money

The height will rise by the thickness of the concrete slab and that changes the geometrics and cross-sectional design of the road itself. It also disturbs the drains on the side, leaving their level way below the road surface.

No utility ducts

Another problem that must be looked into is the underground utilities crossing the road, especially if you are putting a concrete slab on the road.

If the utility providers have to carry out maintenance, they will start digging and breaking the concrete. I don’t think provision has been made for underground utility ducts. These are glaring implementation and construction-level defects.None of the existing roads ever had a maintenance problem in the first place. It is not that bituminous roads cannot be maintained. It is because of our own practical loopholes that were weren’t able to do it.

Safety at stake

If you take a close look at the concrete stretch between Mekhri Circle and Sadashivanagar police station, where only half the road is built, you will clearly see the difference in levels. They have put a bituminous black top on the concrete road. This has lent a negative slant that is extremely dangerous for two-wheeler riders. Even light rains render the roads slippery. This means the safety of motorists is ignored. There is no warning signage on these stretches and traffic management is at its worst. There is no provision for pedestrians or cyclists either.