Twenty-nine major roads in Bengaluru will soon get a facelift with white-topping as the government sets out to address grievances about the poor quality of some of these roads.
Although white-topping costs several times that of conventional asphalting of roads (using bitumen), experts believe it’s worth the money spent as these roads remain in good shape for a longer time.
Over the next two years, the BBMP will be spending Rs 724 crore towards road white-topping project. This translates into a cost of Rs 7.8 crore per kilometre, along with other works. A bitumen road costs about Rs 27 lakh per kilometre.
Even though the initial investment is extremely high, experts believe that the concrete roads, with a life cycle of 30 years, will be cheaper in the long run. “Asphalting is way bet ter than the concrete roads but they do not last long due to poor quality of construction.
The best example for this is the national highways and urban roads. The cement concrete roads will be pothole-free with no maintenance cost,“ said MN Sreehari, advisor to the state government on traffic, transportation and infrtructure.
RK Misra, director of Center for Smart Cities and member of Bengaluru Vision Group, said that although asphalted roads should last five years, none of them would do.
“There was a huge opposition to white-topping of roads but we were able to convince the government. The choice of 29 roads were made based on amount of traffic and roads that are not part of any ongoing projects such as signal-free corridor and Metro,“ Misra said. The works on these roads, he said.
Ashish Verma, Associate Professor, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), had some advice for the BBMP before it takes up the work. “
As white-topping is a capitalintensive project, government agencies should sit together to identify utilities and come out with a longterm arrangements.
There should be a separate service duct for utilities and proper storm water drain network. As construction and curing take a lot of time, the traffic police should have a traffic management plan,“ he noted.
With inputs from: The Economic Times
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