Paver blocks to give way to concrete

According to BMC officials, Rs 200-crore tender has been prepared for 20 junctions, seven roads.

Waking to complaints of poor quality of paver blocks at several arterial junctions and road stretches in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to float tenders to concretise these junctions and roads. Paver blocks were introduced less than a decade back.

According to senior BMC officials, a Rs 200-crore tender has been prepared to concretise 20 arterial paver block junctions and seven roads in the western suburbs. Concretising around 73 interior and arterial paver block road junctions in the island city alone is under consideration. These will include major junctions such as Worli naka and Haji Ali. The list of junctions for possible concretisation in the eastern suburbs is still in the works.

"Within seven days, we will float the tender for concretisation of 20 junctions. During construction work, we will put all utilities together in ducts and aim to complete the work in March," said a senior official from the roads department. He added concretisation of these junctions should ensure better roads for smoother traffic.

Since 2003, a sizeable portion of BMC roads budget has been spent on laying paverblocks at junctions and several road stretches across the city. However, this policy has been mired in controversy with citizens and opposition members alike complaining about poor quality of blocks. Recently, BMC appointed Swiss consultancy firm SGS to conduct quality checks. The firm confirmed sub-standard work. A contractor's fabricated bill of approximately Rs 70 crore was also furnished. This year, the civic body set aside Rs 350 crore for laying paver block roads in various other parts of the city.

Junctions in western suburbs up for concretisation include Juhu Tara Road junction, N M College junction in Vile Parle, Infinity Mall junction in Andheri and Hindustan Naka in Kandivali (west). Roughly Rs 180.5 crore will be spent on these and an additional Rs 58.7 crore on concretising various paver block stretches in the northern end of the suburbs.

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