'STAC guidelines make it clear that paver blocks are not meant for main roads'
To better understand why the paver block menace is so widespread in the city, MiD DAY sought out S R Tambe, the newly appointed chairman to the Standing Technical Advisory Committee (STAC). STAC is meant to advise the BMC administration on the laying and maintenance of roads.
MD: How safe are paver blocks for Mumbai roads?
ST: Paver blocks are meant for footpaths and minor roads, but not for main roads. Roads that are regularly used shouldn’t be laid with paver blocks. If it is done, then regular maintenance is a must.
MD: Why should paver blocks not be laid on main roads?
ST: Paver blocks are not meant for main roads at all. Even the STAC guidelines state that. Paver blocks shouldn’t be even used at junctions, where mastic asphalt should be used.
MD: So are you planning to ban paver blocks from main roads in future?
ST: We will talk to the administration on this, but the final decision lies with them. We will put in our bit.
MD: What will the STAC do about the fact that its recommendations on use of paver blocks are being ignored?
ST: We cannot do anything, because we do not have such powers. The STAC is a merely an advisory committee and laying of paver block is administrative work, with which we cannot interfere.
MD: In spite of being regularly fined for using paver blocks, contractors continue to do so. What do you suggest should be done to curb this?
ST: There is need for a maintenance team that will look into the maintenance of paver blocks. They should rush to whichever spot has dismantled paver blocks and get them fixed immediately.
MD: But don’t you think that the authorities should take stringent action on errant contractors, apart from levying a fine?
ST: We will talk about this with the administration in the next meeting.
MD: Do you think politicians are involved in the process of floating tenders and giving contracts?
ST: I wouldn’t like to comment on this.
MD: Paver blocks are costlier than asphalt, but are still used. Why?
ST: These are part of experiments we carry out, where we go with whatever suits the road. There is a stone road in London, but cars can’t drive on this. So we use technologies depending on the road.