Paver blocks gets the boot in Mumbai’s footpath redesign

BMC to use stencil-stamped concrete for bump-free pedestrian experience; Rs 50-cr project to begin with south and central Mumbai areas

Dipti SinghUpdated: Sunday, October 10, 2021, 01:27 AM IST
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Mumbai: As part of its plan to improve the aesthetics of the country’s financial capital, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has planned to beautify a 90-km-stretch of pavements in south and central parts of the city. The beautification project will cost the BMC around Rs 50 crore. It will cover footpaths in Dadar, Churchgate, Marine Lines, Colaba, Kemps Corner, N S Patkar Marg, B G Kher Road and Walkeshwar areas.

The BMC’s roads and traffic department officials said the work would focus on improving the surface for bump-free pedestrian experience. Based on the success of this project, the civic body will take up other footpaths next year.

A senior BMC official said that tripping on chipped paver blocks will be a thing of the past soon. At one point of time, most pavements across the city were redone with paver blocks as the earlier cementing method had become unpopular because it would chip and lead to rough surfaces. However, paver blocks also lost credit soon for sinking over a period of time. The civic body now wants to focus on standardisation with cement-concrete instead of paver blocks.

A civic official said paver blocks at many locations are loosening and causing inconvenience to pedestrians. “As part of the renewed plan, footpaths will be made of stencil-stamped concrete,” the official added.

Stencil-stamped concrete is embossed to resemble various patterns and textures such as brick, slate, flagstone, stone, tile, wood, among others. BMC officials said it will be an apt replacement for paver blocks. They said such footpaths will last for nearly 12 years as against the five-year life of paver-block pavements. The aim, they said, is to also make pavements specially-abled friendly.

Another official added that maintenance work of manholes and stormwater drains, along with resurfacing a few of the roads, has also been included in the project.

The idea to replace paver clocks with stencil-stamped concrete was first pitched in 2015 by the then BMC chief Sitaram Kunte after he attended a foreign study tour. In 2016, the BMC had publicly announced that paver blocks would not be used on roads anymore.

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