The Chandigarh Administration has decided not to follow the recommendations of the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) for recarpeting the Madhya Marg with a foam stabilized mix made of scraps instead of bitumen after scrapping the road to solve the problem of an uneven road and gradient, which leads to waterlogging during rain.
The study, conducted in May 2018, was tasked with finding out whether the Madhya Marg can be recarpeted without making any impact on its height. Madhya Marg is recarpeted after every five years. The need for the study arose when it was observed that the height of the Madhya Marg road has increased in comparison to the height of the slip roads and internal roads of sectors, which are not repaired regularly.
Chief Engineer, UT, Mukesh Anand, said, "We have decided not to follow the recommendations of CSIR-CRRI study. CRRI experts recommended the use of recycled materials and alternative methods on the Madhya Marg, which is not possible at this stage. We will have to dig up the entire Madhya Marg for implementing the recommendations and it will paralyse the city. Second, CSIR-CRRI report calls for using a foam stabilized mix in place of the conventional bitumen mix. This too is not possible at this moment. Indeed, we invited experts for the study to solve the problem of waterlogging, but we are still searching for other solutions."
The study report stated, "If the foam stabilized mix design is used in the place of the conventional mix, the bitumen saving per km per lance was found to be about 833 tonne. There is possibility of use of recycled materials and alternate methods. The cement-treated base (CTB) is an intimate mixture of crushed stone aggregates and/or natural granular materials combined with measured amounts of portland cement and just enough water that hardens it." The study was conducted by a team of CRRI headed by senior scientist Dr Ambika Behl.
Seniors cry foul
Members of Second Innings Association (SIA) comprising senior citizens have urged the UT administrator, V P Singh Badnore, to instruct the authorities to implement the recommendations of CRRI. R K Garg, SIA president, wrote, "The recommendations will solve the problem of waterlogging. And it will also save money, material and environment."
Garg further wrote, "There seems to be a clear nexus between various wings of the administration and Municipal Corporation as first the height of the road is increased, then the road berms are changed. New cement tiles are fixed on the corners of the road and even the pedestrian paths are rendered useless, so much so that recently two rotary/circles have been tinkered with to fix some useless road gullies.''