Hyderabad: Contractors demand cherry on white top

State puts roads project in city on hold.

Hyderabad: Contractors are insisting that the state government award them white topping contracts without break for five years. They said they would take up work only if the government commits to this.

There has been no response from the government on their demand due to which the project has been halted. The government spends over Rs 250 crore on bitumen roads in the city annually but these do not last even for a year. To avoid this unnecessary expenditure, the government planned to white-top the roads.

It costs Rs 75 lakh and at least a week to white-top 1 km of road. They are cheaper in the long run because, unlike bitumen-topped roads, they are cost-effective, require relatively less maintenance and have a life span of 10-15 years — if the roads are not dug up to lay cables or pipelines.

Tough roadsTough roads

The white topping layer keeps the road intact during rains, as it prevents water logging. On the flip side, it does not allow water to percolate down to the ground.

The government took up a pilot project in Banjara Hills Road No.10 last year, which was successful. The government planned to white-top over 400-km of city's roads in two years. Tenders were issued to complete 200 km by the year-end, an official of the municipal administration department said.

Contractors asked for five-year contracts, stating that the equipment and material they need to procure were expensive. It would be financially viable only with long-term contracts. The municipal administration department has said such guarantees cannot be provided.

“The project was conceived for a two-year period. It is not possible to give five-year works to contractors. The same was conveyed to the GHMC,” said an official at the municipal administration department.

The GHMC returned to laying BT roads. It recently approved the construction of 569 bitumen roads worth Rs 200 crore.

As per the original plan, Banjara Hills Roads No.1, 2, 10, 12 and Jubilee Hills Road No. 45, Ministers Road, the roads at Paradise, Ranigunj and Charminar were to be white-topped.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story