The tardy project to build 161 new roads in the city is set for further delay with Swiss auditor SGS directing contractors to redo the job at 22 locations where the quality and execution of work did not meet the norms. Moreover,eight of the nine contractors carrying out these works have received remarks of rectification or need for improvement in construction material in at least two sites.
The third party auditors,appointed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to monitor ongoing road work and ensure that quality is not compromised by contractors,have found a number of discrepancies in the way roads are being built. In a number of cases,contractors have found anomalies in the density and thickness of the road crust.
The 500-page report submitted by SGS to BMC on Friday states road crust at a number of locations needs to be rebuilt as gradation has not been carried out in the desired manner. The crust of a concrete road consists of three layers the granulated sub base (GSB),wet mix macadam (WMM) and the dry lean concrete (DLC) bed on top. Gradation is compacting these layers to achieve road strength.
As per the report,GSB was laid improperly at 12 locations,including Darga Road in Kurla,Amrut Nagar Road in Ghatkopar,Thakkar Bappa Road in Chembur,Kasturba Road in Mulund and MK Road in Churchgate. These are being built in cement concrete. As per remarks by SGS,base level relaying will have to be redone. Similarly,the laying of WMM and DLC was found faulty at some locations. When crust laying and compacting are not carried out properly,the strength of the road is compromised.
However,contractors argued and officials admitted that presence of large number of underground utilities is one of the reasons why the required gradation is not achieved many a time. We use rollers for compacting and doing so may damage utilities at times. We do not always have a choice, said a contractor.
Other problems observed were dissatisfactory level of excavation before construction at Sindhi Society Road in Chembur and Anant Kanekar Road in Bandra (East),substandard or sub-grade material at Factory Lane and Shiv Vallabh Road in Borivali (West),laying of side strip without information and inspection at SV Road near Santacruz,grading not in sync with design of road at Charkop,lack of required thickness of sleeper slab at the edge of the road and dissatisfactory DLC bed at Jijamata Road.
At Damu Dada Road in Kandivali,SGS found the ready mix concrete batching plant where material is produced,there was a lack of control on the mixing operations being performed manually. An official from the roads department said it amounts of failure on part of SGS. How can they say that plant is not functioning well? Their job is to station an engineer at the plant and at the construction site to ensure that the material produced is up to the mark, he said. At Shiv Vallabh Road in Borivali,GSB was not used from the original source that was okayed by SGS.
Top officials said they were still going through the report and will act on it soon.