Under fire from citizens over the terrible state of roads, the Thane Municipal Corporation(TMC) said on Thursday that an American soil-stabilising technology called AggreBind would be used to fill potholes.
The Shiv Sena-controlled civic body claimed this would be the first use of the product, basically a waterbased polymer, in India. A mixture of gravel and AggreBind will be used to fill craters, and officials are confident that spots patched up this way will remain in a good condition for up to five years.
The announcement came hours after Mirror reported about a citizen movement in Thane. Scores of residents have vowed to not to vote in any election, be it the municipal corporation polls or the Lok Sabha contest, until roads are repaired in their localities.
TMC chief Sanjeev Jaiswal met AggreBind’s executives Wilfred Joe and Chris Juggler, and officials of partner firm PGK Group on Thursday. The soil stabiliser is widely used in the US to repair pockmarked thoroughfares and to fill irrigation channels.
TMC officials said AggreBind would be first trialled at Meenatai Thackeray Chowk and at a spot near the municipal research centre. After assessing the results there, the potential solution to Thane and Mumbai’s notorious craters will be used at other locations. Corporate lawyer Basil Almeida, who is at the forefront of the campaign against bad roads, said citizens didn’t particularly care what method or product was being used; they only wanted results. “You can use American, Russian or Indian technology. It doesn’t matter. We only want roads to remain free of potholes for a long period,” Almeida said.
Mayor Minakshi Shinde said she would inspect roads on Friday. “We have a mayor marathon on September 2. I will be taking a tour tomorrow (Friday). Till the time rains stop, we can’t do anything. But Thane is better than other cities,” she said.
Thane’s city Engineer, Anil Patil, said AggreBind’s team demonstrated the product’s application on Wednesday. “We have filled one pothole and covered it with tarpaulin to check how it works. Polymers are better than tar,” he said.