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Sunday, March 07, 2021

Delhi: Bumpy ride in city as PWD says can’t fix roads in winter

Officials of the Public Works Department (PWD) explained that the road is in need of routine maintenance work, which cannot take place in winter.

Written by Ashna Butani | New Delhi |
February 16, 2021 2:14:04 am
Delhi roads, Delhi Potholes, Siri Fort Road, PWD, Delhi routine maintenance work, Delhi road repair, Delhi road construction, Delhi news, Indian express newsPotholes on the stretch near Siri Fort auditorium. (Photo: Anil Sharma)

Over the last month, commuters have been complaining of a bumpy ride between Siri Fort Road and Malviya Nagar. The stretch is damaged in several places and hasn’t seen repairs in recent months. Officials of the Public Works Department (PWD) explained that the road is in need of routine maintenance work, which cannot take place in winter. A PWD official said, “The binding material on these roads gets oxidised over the years, hence it requires maintenance every five years. This problem was aggravated because of the recent winter rain.”

In the last month, a few residents tweeted about damages on this road and requested authorities to fix them, saying “two-wheeler users are at high risk”. Residents also complained of potholes on patches between Hauz Khas flyover and Aurobindo Marg as well that “might lead to accidents”.

Authorities said routine maintenance work should resume in around 15 days, after which it should take around two weeks to fix the damages. Existing tenders for maintenance work on the Siri Fort Road and Aurobindo Marg stretch are already in place and work will start when temperatures rise, said officials.

Maintenance work on a number of spots is currently on hold as it is not possible to relay roads in cold temperatures, particularly below 10 degrees. The work is done mostly at night when the temperature is lower and because of traffic during the day. Delhi’s minimum temperature touched 9.9 degrees Celsius Monday.

Explaining why laying roads is not possible when the temperature is low, an official said: “The mix used to relay roads is supposed to be hot. It is around 150-160 degrees when it is mixed in the plant. By the time it reaches the road, it is around 130 degrees. The laying should be complete by the time it reaches 90 to 100 degrees or the binding will not take place efficiently. Naturally, it becomes cold faster when the temperatures are lower. For smaller damages and potholes, a ready-mix can be used in cold temperatures. However, the same is not possible on a larger scale.”

The official added that dew on winter nights also poses a problem as moisture is not ideal for the vitamins in the mix.

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