White-topped roads the great white hope for City traffic: Study

White-topped roads the great white hope for City traffic: Study

Cement roads bring about longevity, fuel efficiency, faster rides, it says

White-topped roads the great white hope for City traffic: Study

Imagine this: no potholes, no damaged roads due to heavy rains, a smooth ride, better mileage with no or minimum traffic snarls in Namma Bengaluru. Sounds utopian. But the Centre for Smart Cities (CSC) believes that it can be a reality if the government goes for a white-topped (cement concrete) roads by replacing the existing blacktop (bitumen) roads.

The CSC has been pushing for cement concrete roads for key radial, circular and connecting roads in the city that will last at least 20 years vis-a-vis three to five years of bitumen roads. The cement road on Marine Drive in Mumbai was laid in 1939 and is still in good condition, CSC points out.

“The CSC has identified 250 km of roads including 23 major radial, circular and connecting roads and  those under the viaducts of Metro phase I in the City. These roads were identified by a technical team which prepared the estimated cost to lay cement roads along with drains, utility ducts and footpaths,” R K Misra, director of CSC, told Deccan Herald.

According to a technical study, these roads carry 70 per cent of the city’s total traffic. Going for cement roads would ease the traffic to a great extent as average speed improves, Misra says.

The estimated cost of the roads with footpath and drains is Rs 1,056.25 crore and an additional Rs 800 crore to shift utilities and construct ducts. This, he claims is much cheaper than Tender SURE footpaths that cost around Rs 2,300 crore.

Misra, along with Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon, is meeting top bureaucrats on January 17 to discuss their proposal.

CSC feels that the project should be implemented by the State government as the BBMP is not equipped to handle it.

They have already made presentations and received positive feedback from Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Ministers K J George, H C Mahadevappa and additional chief secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar, when he was the BBMP administrator.

Besides longevity, cement roads also help to improve mileage, save energy and are environment friendly.

A study by the Central Road Research Institute reveals that nearly 14 per cent energy of engines is saved on cement roads. Bitumen, an extract of petroleum crude oil, releases poisonous gases when heated.

Chennai, Hyderabad and Amaravathi, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, have opted for cement roads.

In Bengaluru, a stretch on Hos​u​r Road between Madiwala underpass and Forum Mall is a white-topped road.