Delhi government is in an experimental mode these days. The latest technology being considered to make roads maintenance free and last longer is using the cement-concrete mix instead of bitumen on roads.
Urban development minister A K Walia said: "We are considering the use of cement-concrete mix for roads that are more susceptible to waterlogging. This technology has lower maintenance costs." This technology is however 2.5 times costlier. A kilometre of bituminous road, for instance, costs about Rs 10.5 lakh. The PWD has been instructed to identify stretches where this technology can be used.
The issue came up after a presentation was made to Delhi government by the Cement Manufacturers Association. According to experts, this mix extends life of roads to 25 years and is ideal for locations like high traffic volume and heavy rainfall. This technology is currently being used in Mumbai, Nagpur, Delhi Agra highway and Mumbai-Pune expressway. While the initial cost is high, experts say life-cycle costs of concrete roads are 15% lower. "The department can save on maintenance costs annually if this technology is used," a source said.