September 22, 2005

60% of roads are terrible: BCC

The Bangalore city corporation has no choice now but admit it: Its own survey of the IT city’s roads has laid out in black and white that 60 per cent of arterial roads are either “deteriorated’’ or “poor.’’
   BCC, in tandem with two Bangalore University professors, undertook this survey of 250 km arterial roads a mere 25 days ago, to identify stretches to be taken up under the World Bank’s Karnataka Municipal Reforms Programme. And they have found figures to back IT industry’s infrastructure grouse: It is not one or two — of Silicon city’s 250 km arterial roads, 148 km or 60 per cent are in terrible shape.
   The survey found that a mere 28 km of repeatedly maintained roads like M G Road are “good.’’ But even a showcase road like Airport Road, always spruced up for VVIP travel, has “deteriorated.’’ As a BCC infrastructure expert defined it: “Deteriorated roads are worn down ones that need complete regradation. They need an overall treatment of bitumen and macadam plus mixed seal surface, covered up with slurry seal.’’
   In common parlance, this means the deteriorated roads — 84 km — have to be relaid, pronto. No question of small patch-ups and pothole filling, as they carry more than 50 per cent of the city traffic and defy every ‘management’ mantra being dreamed up by the government.
   The good news is: A plan of action for all the roads under different classifications has been worked upon, with a deadline of three months for completion. The trio used the methodology of Pavement Condition Index, PCI, to benchmark road quality. Calculated on a maximum index of 100, PCI is based on the weather-impacted state of road vis-a-vis quality of material used while laying it. It also takes into account daily vehicular density on the road.
   Three principal measures were considered before classifying the roads — number and kind of potholes, ravelling (weathering away of top surface) and cracks on surface. The best-laid roads have the right mix of bitumen, macadam and mastic (a high quality bitumen) like Queen’s Road, M G Road, some roads in Jayanagar.

The good, the bad and the ugly

Good Roads: Chamarajpet 5th Main; AaNa Kru Road — National college circle to Hudson Road; Briand Square to Royan Circle; Primrose Road Fair Roads: Triveni Road, Yeshwanthpur; Chord Road; Coles Road; Yeshwanthpur Circle to IISc Poor Roads: HAL II stage 12th main road; Asseye Road; Jayanagar 4th main, South End Circle to 45th cross; NH4 Service Road MEI to Ring Road junction Deteriorated Roads: Airport Road; Jeevan Bima Nagar Main Road; Trinity Circle to Airport Road junction; Ring Road in Banashankari III Stage, Sultanpalya Main Road.

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