Mumbai: Standing Committee rejects BMC's proposal to use paver blocks on roads

Updated: 14 December, 2017 17:22 IST | A Correspondent | Mumbai

Members unanimously reject administration's proposal to resurface 11 minor roads in Malad with the controversial blocks

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC's) Standing Committee has rejected the proposal to resurface roads with paver blocks in Malad West. The administration had proposed resurfacing of 11 minor roads in Malwani with the controversial paver blocks at a cost of Rs 16 crore.

Unanimous opposition
Committee members slammed the administration for bringing up paver blocks again despite the BMC banning them in 2016 due to their poor quality. In many places, the paver blocks have sunk, resulting in an uneven surface and posing a risk to motorists and vehicles. Shiv Sena leader Yashvant Jadhav said, "We will not allow any paver blocks to be laid; they affect the quality of roads. The administration must not bring such proposals."

Opposition leader Ravi Raja seconded Jadhav, while BJP corporator Prabhakar Shinde said, "The administration itself should have refrained from bringing such a proposal, considering past experiences. This will be a disaster as roads and junctions having paver blocks are in a non-motorable condition." Standing Committee Chairman Ramesh Korgaonkar has rejected the proposal and asked the administration to conduct an inquiry into how and why paver blocks have resurfaced.

In defence
Chief Engineer of Roads and Traffic department, Vinod Chithore, had told mid-day on Tuesday, "As per a BMC policy on paver blocks, in existence since the last 18 months, minor roads can be resurfaced with paver blocks, because they are so small that machinery used for carrying out asphalt work can't be moved in those stretches." "Earlier, when there were no paver, we used to repair minor roads with concrete blocks. However, their durability compared to paver blocks isn't good," he clarified.

A block-by-block controversy
The BMC had introduced paver blocks in 2006 to repair roads, especially arterial ones, and junctions. According to officials, the aim behind introducing them was to avoid haphazard digging of roads and footpaths for underground utility services, as paver blocks can be easily removed without digging and re-laid after work is completed. However, later, after they started sinking or popping out in several places, they were panned by all, as safety of motorists was at stake. The main reason behind paver blocks' failure was improper relaying after work.

Rs 16 cr
Total cost at which the civic administration had proposed paver block relaying in Malad

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First Published: 14 December, 2017 09:25 IST

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