By Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi
Roads are swelling in Mumbai because Road Contractors lay another layer of new road material on the existing dilapidated roads. This saves cost. Who will dig the road to level and put again costly road material like Khadi and Tar / cement? But end result is : roads are swelling or increasing the level of ground.
Till 2005, BMC allowed ground floors in the newly constructed buildings. And needless to say that old buildings always has ground floor residence and commercial occupation. Stilt is in fashion and compulsion after 2005.
The swelling roads have resulted in decrease of level of ground floors from road level. Several low lying areas have been created in Mumbai. Cave in are result of this practices only. We had many cave in cases reported in last eight months.
Now problem with societies and structure which gone below the road level that they cannot increase the height of their compounds and ground floor level nor they can have sewage out lets enhanced. Along the road heights, sewage tanks and lines on the roads have also increased. This has resulted in throwing back of sewage of such societies into their own compound since level of road sewage is increased over the years.
At Vakola, Western Express Highway is almost 20 ft above the adjacent Anand Nagar which is situated both the side of the highway. Gaothan and small villages in Mumbai like Koliwada, Khota chi wadi and other small pockets are worst hit with such practice since village roads contract never care to keep the road level. They always want to dump debries and do cosmetic surgery. In some of the cases, the road level have gone as high as window of the ground floor.
Road levels are increasing, the day is far when half of Mantralaya will be under ground because of increasing Road layers. The standard engineering practice is to remove the damaged layers of the roads and to relay the same with fresh layers. As such, the practice followed in Guwahati as well as other urban areas of the State by the Government agencies concerned adding layer after layer on top of one another to the roads thereby raising the road levels indiscriminately, is definitely a wrong one, apart from being a bane to the process of urban development and a menace adding to the woes of already harassed citizens.
These are some of the assertions made in a petition filed by some concerned Guwahatians before the Gauhati High Court in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) case (No 44 of 2011) on the road levels. The PIL has been admitted by the court.