The competent authority is awaiting bidders for the pothole repair work in Panjim. The traffic load over the roads has been constantly increasing over time degrading the asphalt layers. The roads in Panjim have been riddled with deep crater-like potholes, which at times give, a supernatural feeling of driving on moon or mars.
According to official data, around 2,000 people were killed in the country last year due to pothole-related accidents. However, there is no data for pothole-caused illnesses like back pain, body ache, joint pains and the like.
Roads are subject to wear and tear, they develop cracks which over time peel off and form potholes. A vigil on vulnerable stretches of roads can help identify these signs of damage. A regular maintenance must be done diligently by the authorities.
One of the medieval methods of filling the potholes with laterite rubble is still being followed. Such filled potholes become open again in the dead of the night, such is the shoddy work done. Such haphazard sized laterite rubble creates bumps and makes the road more uneven. Use of road roller allows attaining flatness, but this cannot be compared to the one achieved using hot-mix.
Sometimes mud is poured over this laterite rubble which gets slippery on being wet and gets washed off in heavy downpours. These measures temporarily fix the problem, but exacerbate the instances of a mishap. Another method is when interlocking pavers are used. The sharp edges of the pavers damage the tyres, and poor-fixing techniques cause the individual pavers to wobble when a vehicle passes over it. Individual pavers may fly off, at times, due to strong wobble. Then comes the use of concrete layers, seen in recent times.
Due to the brittle nature of concrete, and absence of cross-strengthening with steel rods, these layers develop cracks very easily defeating the purpose for which they were intended to help.
Last but not the least, wet concrete is poured into the potholes at night. Due to the absence of signages, a chance passing of a vehicle through this fill creates a deep groove that hardens during the day. Thus we have a pothole within a pothole! I hope the authorities rethink their approach towards the maintenance of roads.