Concrete over asphalt

Concrete over asphalt

Lately, Delhiites have forgotten where are the roads in the City. Maybe, one can find them amidst potholes that have come up thanks to the rain!

Due to ever increasing potholes in Delhi, driving nowadays has literally turned into a back-breaking exercise which has also taken a toll on the movement of traffic. Every year, parts of roads break away in the rain, leaving loose gravel on the roads which are also dangerous for motorists plying on the stretch.

We all know that concrete roads live longer than asphalt roads, but still Delhi mostly has asphalt roads because it is cheaper, despite concrete roads having major advantages. But what is the way out of this mess? What can be done to make these roads better for the motorists? Which is better suited for the City – asphalt road or concrete road? Metrolife spoke to a few experts to know more about this issue.

Yogendra Maan of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) which is responsible for internal and colonial roads, says, “We are making mastic roads nowadays which are 10 times more costly than asphalt roads. It has tarcoal and plastic components in it and are made framewise. Mostly flyovers, subways and roundabouts are made with mastic roads. It also has 10 times more life than the asphalt roads.” Big roads like Ring Road, Outer Ring Road and the central verge roads which are 60 feet and above are under the Public Works Department (PWD).

Readymade Concrete (RMC) are also used in making roads like on highways. RMC have also been used on Greater Noida roads and also on GT Karnal roads. These roads, including mastic roads, give a smooth ride and there is no question of skidding too.

Manas Murthy, an architect and urban designer blames the drainage system for the rotting roads. “It is a motorist’s nightmare and pedestrian’s horror after the road’s surface has been stripped off in Delhi. It is all because of lack of drainage system. Even if we use high technology or costly material, the stagnant water will wash off everything. We need to look that water is not accumulated anywhere. Otherwise making roads in Delhi is of no use. The agencies also need to follow the Street Design Guidelines while making these roads.”

Concrete roads have a long service life as compared to asphalt roads. Moreover,
concrete roads do not require frequent repair or patch work like asphalt roads. Unlike
asphalt roads, concrete roads do not get damaged by leaking oils from vehicles or by
extreme weather conditions like excess rain or extreme heat.

Subhamay Gangopadhyay, Director, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) too lays emphasis on concrete roads over asphalt. “Concrete roads are any day better as they are durable and smooth too. The only major fact is its initial high cost, but its maintenance is nothing. To make good quality roads the government also needs to shell some more to get better quality.”

“Also one needs to check the drainage system and desilting should be done regularly. Before constructing any road the drainage system of the area should be throughly examined,” adds Subhamay.

Although, asphalt roads are easy on pockets but there durability is a big question. Heavy rain and other extreme weather conditions damage the asphalt road, and hence they need to be repaired
frequently.

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