Motorists using the arterial Tulsi Pipe Road can heave a sigh of relief, as the civic body has decided to start repair work on the pockmarked Keshavsut flyover outside Dadar railway station (West) from Monday. The resurfacing on one of the worst stretches is likely to go on for 17 days, civic officials said. The bridge will be shut at night and partially during the day. After the chosen contractor, who was supposed to use Wonder Patch technology, to carry out the resurfacing of the flyover backed out, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has appointed another contractor to carry out repairs, hoping to finish the job before the rains hit the city.
“The earlier contractor backed out because they refused to resurface the road before the monsoon, as the time limit was insufficient for them and they didn’t want to do the job in a haste. But, another road contractor has agreed to do the job for us,” said an official from BMC roads department, on condition of anonymity. The BMC’s plan to resurface the bridge is pegged at Rs 35 to 40 lakh, and civic officials decided to go ahead with the repair work on the badly cratered road, as they received criticism from citizens and activists who were perturbed by the shoddy repair work conducted last year after the monsoons.
Rahul Shewale, civic standing committee chairman, said, “The bridge is in a bad condition, and it should be repaired now, else it would worsen this monsoon. When work on other roads is on full swing, the bridges should not be ignored, especially Keshavsut Bridge, as it is a busy road. The difficulty is the traffic and we hope to manage it from Monday.” The resurfacing of the flyover will not be done by the standing technical advisory committee’s (STAC) recommended mastic asphalt, but would be resurfaced with the hot-mix method. “There is no option, as engineers are not ready to adhere to the recommended technology. The work would be completed before the end of this month along with other road works,” said R Ghodke, BMC chief engineer (roads, bridges and traffic). But, N V Merani, chairman of STAC, said, “They have to begin the work as soon as possible, if they want the desired results. Hot-mix requires 8-10 dry days and no movement of vehicles on the coated patch. We can just wait and watch.”
“Why does the BMC start work so late? They should have started work earlier. Hope the work is not compromised in any way due to time constraints. Hasty work will only worsen the roads in the monsoons,” said activist Aftab Siddiqui.