At least 500 roads in the city are going to be carpeted with concrete with their new owner,Public Works Department (PWD),looking to improve the life span of stretches prone to waterlogging.
Most of these 500 roads were under the municipal corporation,till the PWD,a Delhi government department,took custody in 2012.
With Assembly elections scheduled for later this year,the relaying of roads to enhance protection against waterlogging might become the showcase project of the government.
Experts say while the cost of carpeting with concrete is almost double that of bitumen,concrete roads survive five times longer.
Around 500 concrete roads will be constructed in the city. The main stretches include Najafgarh-Nangloi,Uttam Nagar-Najafgarh and Rama Road near Karol Bagh. The remaining are small stretches,mostly inside colonies, PWD engineer-in-chief Dinesh Kumar said.
PWD claims that most of the roads face the problem of waterlogging every monsoon,and the bitumen gets damaged easily.
The only issue with concrete is that it leads to elevation in the road level. So,these roads are being constructed in areas where the road level was low, a PWD official said.
The official said the cost of one kilometre of concrete road is Rs 6 crore,as opposed to Rs 3 crore for bitumen roads.
Officials from the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) have been called in to provide expertise.
J B Sengupta,head of department of rigid pavement division,CRRI,said concrete roads is a good idea. The average lifespan of a bitumen road is three to four years,and such roads fare badly during waterlogging. Concrete roads are advisable as they last for at least 20 to 25 years,and during waterlogging they gain strength as it improves its compactness. It only requires more care during the first month, Sengupta said.
He said though costly,concrete roads are more viable.
The cost is 25 per cent more in colonies and 30 per cent more along highways. But in the long-term,it turns out to be a more viable option. These roads have to be constructed after looking at site condition,as the road level rises, he said.
PWD is relaying the Under Hill Road in Civil Lines with concrete. This road will be at the level of the footpath and should be ready in the next three months. Waterlogging is the main reason for constructing a concrete road there, an official said.
Congress-led Delhi government has left no stone unturned to ensure that all roads they took over from BJP-ruled corporations are improved and upgraded with signages,streetlights and drainage. A total of 647 roads,taken over from the corporations,are being relaid at a cost of more than Rs 1,800 crore.
647 roads taken over by PWD from municipal corporations in 2012
500 roads to get concrete carpeting
Rs 1,800 crore to be spent on the project
1 km of concrete road costs Rs 6 crore
1 km of bitumen road costs Rs 3 crore
20 to 25 years: Life of concrete roads
3 to 4 years: Life of bitumen roads
The main stretches include Najafgarh-Nangloi,Uttam Nagar-Najafgarh and Rama Road near Karol Bagh. The remaining are small stretches,mostly inside colonies Dinesh Kumar,PWD engineer-in-chief
Concrete roads are advisable as they last for at least 20 to 25 years,and during waterlogging they gain strength as it improves its compactness.
J B Sengupta,HoD,Rigid Pavement Division (CRRI)