Pilot review of Rapid Road missed earlier

City State Top Story

BBMP had asked IISc to preview the technology, but did not pay.

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) said it did not receive the promised payment from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) to review the ‘rapid road’ technology that was used on Old Madras Road.

Associate professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at IISc, Anbazhagan P said that BBMP approached them before they started the rapid road project asking for suggestions. He said, “Since they did not pay the fees therefore we did not give them any report.”

He said, “We also require the data from BBMP and UltraTech to start working on the evaluation report.”

The “rapid road” developed multiple cracks within months of its use on Old Madras Road (OMR). The IISc is supposed to provide a report on the technology. This is expected to contain two sections: the geotechnical part and the quality of the slab and the method of transportation. The geotechnical part includes a physical spot inspection by the IISc team.

Reports show IISc will charge Rs 23.41 lakh as the consultancy fee to review the technology. The scope of work by IISc includes: Checking of soil and subsurface investigation report, in-situ testing and measurement of subgrade and sub-base, suggestions to improve rapid road, and more.

UltraTech Cement came up with the rapid road technology that was used on the 375-metre stretch on OMR from 100 Ft Road Junction to Petrol Junction.

Expert says that the BBMP should have made sure the surface of the road is properly levelled before laying the slabs.

PM Hiremath, regional manager, UltraTech Cement who was taking pictures of the road said, “We have worked on this technology for seven years. We have used the precast tensioning concrete method; readymade cement slabs were laid and joined by steel cables on either side.” He said his team was disappointed with the cracks. He reiterated that this was a pilot project and that they were open to reviews.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who inaugurated this project on December 8, said, “We have to analyse the road after continuously running 20-tonne plus vehicles on it. Let them give a report on the impact on the road because of the movement of heavy vehicles, details of joints, tensile strength and other techniques.”

The project is still in the evaluation process and missed several deadlines. The civic body assured the public that the pilot project will be finished within three days but it took them 13 days to complete.

Ravi Verma, whose house is right next to the OMR Indiranagar stretch said, “There are many cracks on this newly built road and the slabs are not placed properly. BBMP promised that this technology would last for a long time, but it has only been a month, and look at the road condition.” 

Janardhan, a technical assistant from BBMP Road and Highways department said, “This was a pilot project and we were experimenting with new technology so that is why it took extra time.” The cost of this project was high compared to the white-topping road project. He added, “The additional cost was because of transportation. We exactly do not know why the crack developed; an investigation is still going. We are waiting for the IISc evaluation report.” 

Prof. M.N. Sreehari, a traffic advisor and expert said, “This was the first time they were using the technology in the country. However, BBMP should have made sure the surface of the road is properly levelled before laying the slabs.”

In an article, BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath said that all potholes in Bengaluru would be filled by November 10, 2022, but citizens are still waiting for that to happen.  Francis, a motorist said, “I myself have filled potholes with debris, although I think the condition of the road all across India is not good.” 

Dr Bharath Raju G, Secretary General of Karnataka Orthopaedic Association said, “Most of the roads in Bangalore are not rider friendly. I do get a lot of patients with back and neck sprains because of potholes.”