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           ROAD REFORMS

                      Mumbai has a vast network of roads which are owned and maintained by multiple agencies i.e. MCGM, MMRDA, MHADA, MSRDC, MbPT and private societies. The roads get damaged due to various reasons as under:­

a) Trenches: Frequent trenching is done by about 15 agencies. Due to bottlenecks and narrow width of the roads, ducting is not feasible at most of the locations. Hence, footpaths in City and carriageway in Suburbs are frequently dug resulting in damage to homogeneous road crust.

b} Water logging: Mumbai is made up by merging seven Islands. The development carried out subsequently in some areas was without raising ground level above sea level and to facilitate disposal of rainwater. Due to water logging in such areas, disintegration takes place in asphalt surfaces.

c) Heavy Traffic: The vehicular traffic has increased manifolds recently and carries heavy axle loads even on interior roads. The roads were not designed for such eventuality.

         d) Leakages: Network of water mains in Mumbai is very old. Frequent leakages from these water mains damage asphalt pavements as also concrete pavements.

         e) Maintenance: Roads are required to be maintained regularly. However, due to vast network of roads and paucity of funds in the past, maintenance has suffered resulting in gradual damage to the roads. Sub-standard workmanship also contribute to early damage to the roads constructed / improved.

 Considering condition of roads during monsoon, MCGM appointed Standing Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), under the Chairmanship of Shri N: V. Merani, Retd. Secretary (PWD), in Sept. 04. The Committee has eminent experts in the field as members viz. Dr.Sunil Bose from CRRI-Delhi, Dr. K.V.Krishna Rao from IIT -Bombay, Dr. C.E.G. Justo Retd. Professor from Bangalore University, Shri S.R. Tambe, Retd. Secretary Roads (PWD), Shri MA'. Pacil, Retd. Secretary Roads (PWD) etc. The committee was asked to look into various aspects of road construction, design, execution, maintenance & management  aspects of roads. The committee submitted its detailed report on 31.12.04. The report containing various recommendations is accepted by the administration. The report was also appreciated by the Hon. High Court who  has asked other organizations also to refer to the report.

 Some of the important recommendations and status of implementation is as under:­

Sr no .

Previous System








Construction & strengthening of roads was carried out conventionally & uniformly without design, irrespective of nature and condition of roads and traffic thereat

The committee has recommended that construction of road or overlay treatment should be carried out only after assessing road condition and carrying out survey for topography, soil, traffic condition and preparing design thereof.


MCGM has appointed Consultants for design of pavements after carrying out structural evaluation of the road. All road projects taken up now are as per design in accordance with latest specifications.



Vendor Selection

The earlier contracts were of  smaller amounts i.e. up to Rs. 1.00 crore. The agencies were selected on the basis of registration only

The committee has suggested to enlarge size of the packages & to have    qualification criteria for  selection of the capable agencies.


Size of the packages has been increased i.e. Rs. 5.00 to 20.00 crores and stricter qualification " criteria specifying technical & financial capabilities have been adopted.



 The specifications prepared by MCGM about 25 years back were not updated and the works were being taken up based on old specifications

The committee has recommended to revise specifications accordance with the MoRTH/IRC and also prepare  assurance manual, quality audit  manual, maintenance manual,  etc.

MCGM has got the specifications revised and prepared various manuals through eminent experts in the field. All these documents are now published.




Quality Assurance

 Presently, the work executed by the road dept. was randomly checked by the in house Vigilance Dept. and there was no independent and stringent checking for various aspects of projects.

The committee has recommended to appoint third party Quality Auditor to ensure adherence to the various aspects of the specifications.

MCGM has appointed third party auditors, which includes CRRI for quality auditing of road projects undertaken by MCGM.



Project Approach:

Previously roads were improved without improvement of drainage networks, footpath and provision of street furniture within limited budget of about Rs: 100/­crores.


The committee has recommended all utilities including SWD and Sewerage system should be upgraded along with work of improvement of roads

MCGM has adopted Project Approach wherein improvement of SWD, Sewerage & water supply network have also been included along with improvement of roads, footpath and provision of street furniture Including beautification. The budget provision has also been enhanced to about Rs. 667 crores in the year 2006-07.




There was no regular maintenance management or preventive maintenance system and improvement works were taken up on fire fighting basis.

The Committee has recommended to prescribe norms of maintenance and to develop maintenance management system progressively

Preventive maintenance works are now taken up prior to onset of monsoon. MCGM has also published Maintenance Manual and has proposed to develop Maintenance Management System for which proposal for appointment of Consultant  Is with the Standing Committee.



Damages during Monsoon:

Previously, agencies were appointed by MCCM exclusively to attend to the damages occurring on the roads during monsoon.

The Committee has recommended stricter criteria for selection of agencies and scientific approach for repairing potholes.

As recommended by the Committee, capable agencies have been appointed and potholes are being attended in a scientific manner.




There is a huge staff in the Road Dept. However, they are allotted mixed duties, including planning and administrative work along with execution.


The Committee has recommended to  create a separate planning Cell and to appoint earmarked engineers for supervision of works. The Committee has also  proposed  to impart training to these engineers in various aspects of road, construction including latest trends in the world.

MCGM has now proposed to recruit engineers for creation of a separate planning Cell and post earmarked engineers exclusively for supervision of works. Training course has also been conducted covering various aspects of road design/construction/ maintenance. MCGM is also proposing to hold professional examination for further promotion.



Thus, with implementation of aforesaid recommendations in a phased manner, Mumbai will have a facelift with durable and world-class roads.


It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. --Charles Dudley Warner