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Mumbai: After saying no new paver blocks, BMC to uproot old ones too

Decision comes after Civic Commissioner Ajoy Mehta’s inspection of city’s fast unravelling roads on Tuesday; In January, the BMC had decided not to use paver blocks for new projects

The BMC now intends to pave the way for a smoother ride on Mumbai roads by doing away with paver blocks altogether. The civic body had already decided earlier that it would no longer use paver blocks in the future, as they make roads vulnerable to damage. But after noting the poor condition of roads after just a fortnight of rains this year, the authorities have decided to replace paver blocks with concrete or asphalt even on existing roads.

BMC chief Ajoy Mehta told mid-day, “I have observed that at most places, it is paver blocks that have come out, creating problems for motorists and pedestrians. As a solution, I have decided to replace existing paver blocks at all junctions with asphalt.”

Also Read: 'Concrete stamps' to replace paver blocks on Mumbai's streets

The BMC chief pointed out that in most cases, potholes were caused by uneven paver blocks peeling out, posing great danger to motorists. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
The BMC chief pointed out that in most cases, potholes were caused by uneven paver blocks peeling out, posing great danger to motorists. Pics/Datta Kumbhar

The blocks were originally introduced in 2002-03 with the aim to improve roads, but instead turned into a nightmare for motorists. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Earlier this year, the BMC announced it would stop using paver blocks for future projects. This decision was welcomed by across political parties.

Some may recall that a couple of years ago, the corporation even carried out an experiment, replacing paver blocks with concrete at a small stretch at VN Purav Marg in Chembur. Introduced with much fanfare, this initiative was never pursued. However, alarmed by the increasing complaints about potholes appearing across the city, the BMC is finally going to implement this change.

Read Story: Paver blocks across Mumbai to be used at dumping grounds

However, Mehta made it amply clear that the change would not happen immediately, as the corporation will have to wait till the end of monsoon to implement the idea. “We will start identifying the junctions that have paver blocks that need to be replaced with concrete layers. The implementation of the new system will commence from October,” said Mehta.

Cost effective
A senior road engineer from BMC stated that replacing paver blocks with concrete would not only help motorists, but would also save a lot of public money. “Concrete has a life of over 10 years, as against paver blocks, which hardly last for a couple of years,” he said.

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