The quality of road works undertaken by the private contractor's deputed by the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) are now under the scanner of the engineering wing of the Mumbai-based premier technical establishment- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). To get rid of recurring potholes and to ensure more durability of roads, the Public Works Department (PWD) of the civic body started using cement-concrete (CC) and later switched over to Ultra-Thin White Topping (UTWT)-a cost-effective and durable technique for developing roads in the twin-city.
As per PWD officials roads in nine areas of the twin-city are under construction using cement concrete and UTWT technology. However, alarmed by complaints in context to substandard work and cracks developing on these newly constructed roads, municipal commissioner Dr Vijay Rathod requested the IIT to inspect the road construction sites and test the quality of material along with checking other parameters to ensure that the work was at par with the prescribed strength standard.
Subsequently, a team of experts from the IIT inspected the road construction site and collected samples for further testing on Wednesday.
The MBMC had claimed that cement roads they were constructing across the twin-city will not wear and tear for atleast 30 years. Moreover, unlike the conventional method of concretising, UTWT technology was implemented with an aim of saving 25 per cent of the cost. Although concrete used in this technique reduced thickness as compared to CC, the roads were expected to be durable. The UTWT mix had been approved by the IIT and was used to fast-track road construction works, PWD officials had said. “Reports from the IIT are awaited to chalk out the further road map and plan of action,” confirmed an official. On the virtue of financial assistance from state government agencies like the MMRDA, the civic body in an attempt to enhance road connectivity, had floated tenders’ worth crores of rupees for CC roads and using the UTWT technique. However, most of the tenders have been bagged by a cartel of local contractor's at rates much above the scheduled rates.