Published On : Mon, May 8th, 2017

NMC officials and Ruling party Corporators make vain efforts to justify ‘cracking’ cement roads

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Nagpur: The pertinent question we would like to ask NMC though is – did they take all factors into consideration, like cement roads heating environment more, before going on a destructive spree and digging up good asphalt roads all over the city?

Cement roads can contribute to rise in temperatures admitted Chief Consulting Engineer

Geotech Services is a main consultant of the cement roads project. Their chief consulting engineer A.M. Shingarey admitted at the press conference that cement roads ” do increase heat. It is a known matter!”

Just add this ‘known matter’ to another very well known ‘fact’ – Nagpur is a HOT place already and this year even the month of April saw mercury going beyond 42 – 43* which was noted as ‘abnormal heat wave’ by meteorology experts.

At such times, should city fathers not explore all measures to combat heat by planting more trees and doing everything to preserve existing ones, rather than cutting up trees to widen roads and cement them??

This question any one would think was a non sequitur, yet we have to ask it since they chose the latter option!

The trend world over now is choosing asphalt over concrete

As an international expert opines – Asphalt roads wear more than concrete roads, but many countries are replacing concrete roads with asphalt because it is cheaper, despite concrete roads having some advantages.

Advantages of Asphalt (Bitumen) Road

  • Economical: Asphalt is still less costly compared to concrete. Moreover, it takes less time to build a asphalt road than a concrete road. (Asphalt dries faster.)
  • Recyclable: Asphalt is a recyclable material. It can be used again and again by melting it.
  • Easy maintenance: Repairing just a prt of the asphalt road is easily possible. Asphalt roads even can be relayered over the old layer.

Moreover asphalt/ bitumen is derived from coal, and this is an abundantly available local mineral, so cost for Nagpur reduces further.

Curious this – At the beginning of this year NMC had boasted that they were going to use waste plastics to make asphalt roads stronger, then why give up on them?

We had heard from Shravan Hardikar, Divisional Commissioner then that “In a first, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has successfully devised a unique technique to deal with disposal of plastic waste. The plastic waste generated in the Orange City will be used in the construction of asphalt roads.”

Later, the civic body had even started a pilot project for constructing a patch of road using plastic waste in Bhandewadi dumping yard for the purpose of laying of roads. The process was supposed to be simple – shred all waste plastic to a particular size; Coat it with an oily substance and mix it with the bitumen that is to be laid for roads.Roads layer using plastic is stated to be having high resistance from damages as well as restrict water percolation a major factor for potholes. Also it would be a real good way to use plastic from the over 1000 metric tonnes of waste city generates every day!

After initiating this project they begin the long and never ending process of converting asphalt roads into cement!! Can we say in NMC, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing??

The main advantage of concrete was supposed to be that it was supposed to be long lasting and maintenance free

The only reason, a city would go for cement roads would be to get durable roads that don’t need to be repaired again and again – in fact almost after every monsoon – so the higher cost would be justified.

But as NMC Engineer admitted at the press conference, which was also attended by Corporator and Ruling party leader in NMC, Sandeep Joshi, 267 road panels have already developed cracks in a short period!

Allow us to re iterate here that highly defective cement roads cannot be effectively repaired. The whole concrete panel has to be removed and replaced.

It is but natural then for them to underplay the defects and damages, though they are apparently visible to even a lay person. It did not really take a Jan Manch survey to tell us that!

And most important fact is that the p.c. said nothing about the sub standard raod pavers and road dividers that Jan Manch pointed out to Nagpur press.

There was no justification or explanation either of high level of new cement roads which will surely drive rain water into people’s homes and compounds.

We definitely haven’t heard the last on this topic, yet!

When the press conference was held, President of Jan Manch Advocate Anil Killor is out of the state on a holiday.

“I have been getting messages on whats app about claims they are making. When I return I will scotch all of them” he says in a telephonic conversation with NT.

Meanwhile do go for a drive on the ‘old and endangered’ tar roads of Nagpur, along the Sitabaldi fort, or the Kamptee road… they are so smooth and even and it is a relief to not see any cement road work in progress nearby!