Delhi to chalk out strategy to improve conditions of roads

Written by Rakesh Sood | New Delhi, Aug 28 | Updated: Aug 30 2008, 05:00am hrs
The Delhi government will soon come out with a strategy to improve the roads in the city that guzzle up Rs 200 crore every year and bring the city to its knees soon after monsoon.

Chief minister, Sheila Dikshit has deputed the chief secretary of Delhi, Rakesh Mehta to prepare a roadmap in consultation with the public works department, municipal corporation and Delhi cantonment board, the execution agencies in their respective areas.

The government is also looking at third party assurance and is in talks with Central Road Research Institute.

Mehta has convened a meeting of the representatives of these authorities next week. Meanwhile, PWD and MCD have been directed to take up repair work and fill up potholes by first week of September. If, the roads has given away before the five-year period, the contractor will be hauled up.

To stop the mayhem visible during the monsoons all around the capital, 37 advance teams on the lines of developed countries will be set up which will identify the spots where cracks are expected to develop which would be repaired before the onset of rainy season,'' a senior government official told FE.

The teams will be equipped with cold emulsion, cement bags and bitumen and a digital camera to take pictures of the potholes, before and after the repair.

We are also considering option of plastic roads than bitumen roads as binding quality is much better. The road has a longer lifespan even in wet areas.

Though, this technology is very expensive, but use of it can keep the roads in good condition upto 25 years.

This technique is being used in China, gulf and western countries having an annual budget of Rs 5 crore each on road maintenance.

However, in the capital city, malaise lies in drainage system, which is over 50-years-old, so the present capacity is breached. Storm water rains now carry sewage and when it rains the water overflows on the roads including the major arteries. Also, desiliting of drains before rains is never complete.

This year, just 220 of the 1,458 drains under MCD were desilted to check graft demand accountability. Sources say 40% of the budsget allocated for desilitng siphoned off.

This year, Rs 37 crore were allocated. Since contractors are paid on the basis of silt weight, they dump waste material instead of silt at landfill sites to earn more.

In the current bidding system, small stretches of roads are given for resurfacing wherein small contractors are part of the bid. This keeps big players who would be more accountable out of fray. The state government will follow the system of Mumbai and Pune where contractors are responsible for repairs and are penalised.