| The newly laid mastic asphalt road near Dakbungalow roundabout. Telegraph picture |
Waterlogging and potholes on capital roads could soon be a rarity.
The road construction department has started laying mastic asphalt roads around the major roundabouts of the city. The work started last week at the busy Dakbungalow roundabout.
Sources in the department said more than 30 roundabouts in Patna would have mastic asphalt by early next year.
“The work has begun and soon all major roundabouts, like R-Block, Ram Ghulam Chowk, Exhibition Road roundabout, Dinkar roundabout, Patel roundabout and others would have mastic asphalt roads,” said C.M. Mishra, the executive engineer of the New Capital circle of the road construction department.
He added: “We don’t have a specific time frame for the project, but we expect the work to be completed by early next year.”
In January, road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav had announced the scheme and called it a “dream project”. A sum of Rs 3.5 crore has been sanctioned for it.
Asphalt roads are smoother than blacktop streets. In this technology, individually placed stone chips prevent skidding of vehicles. “The chips create friction between the tyres of vehicles and roads, preventing accidents,” said another official of the road construction department.
These roads also do not allow rainwater to accumulate on top or permeate to bottom layers. So they last longer. The top layers can be easily removed and replaced. A mastic asphalt road was laid at Chitkohra bridge in west Patna on a trial basis. Sources said the results were encouraging.
Not everyone is convinced about the benefits of mastic asphalt roads, though. A source said: “If not laid properly, they can become very slippery during a downpour. As a result, the risk for motorists increases.”
The road construction department is, however, at pains to assuage such fears. “We are using the best technology to construct these roads. There is no question of any compromise. These will be perfectly safe,” said Mishra, the executive engineer.