India: NMC plans second phase of cement roads

India: NMC plans second phase of cement roads
Published: 17 June 2014

Tagged Under: India 

Following directives from India's Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has started to plan the second phase of cement concrete roads at an expense of INR1250m (US$207.5m) despite the fact that over 80 per cent work on the first phase is yet to be taken up. NMC sources say work on 4.5km of total target of 26km concrete roads has been completed in last three years despite a deadline of two years.

Ruling party leader Praveen Datke said that Gadkari's plan was to convert as many roads as possible from tar into cement concrete. "Gadkari has directed us to prepare for the second phase. There are even plans to tie up with a cement company to reduce the project cost. There is not much difference between the cost of tar and cement road. Both will cost the same in case the plan works out," he said.

The project has hit problems due to cracks developing on one cement road within a year of construction. The provision of funds is another worry for cash-strapped NMC. But Datke said revenue will be increased from new sources like London Street or from the state government when BJP comes to power.

Superintending engineer Prakash Urade said that the  process to finalise the second phase will take time and hoped that the first phase is completed in the meantime. "We have to work out the technique, funds availability etc and then select roads for the second phase," he said.