Severe winter conditions, as witnessed last season, cause breaking up and shattering of the road surface due to seepage and frost action. Means of clearance were pathetic also and contributed more than the weather vagaries.
How well these roads can be protected from the weather vagaries is for the concerned department engineers and the government to work out.
In a good move, the government has constituted a committee to suggest measures and SoPs for preventing damage to the road due to snow clearance.
The panel has been asked to submit the report for optimal maintenance of roads during snow clearance operations and obviating the need for their subsequent restoration, according to a government order.
In the last several decades, no thought has apparently gone also to address it and perhaps it needs a look into, particularly to find out if the problems lie beyond or including compaction, and surfacing etc.
The top functionaries of concerned departments have time and again said that there would be no compromise on the quality of work. The statement though assuring remains restricted to paper only in the past. All the concerned need to find out if insufficient or poor quality material is used in the construction. Not only the Macdamisation of road surface in terms of macadam thickness, its consistency, quality of tar and proper compaction with road rollers need to be seen, the metalling and allied basics needs proper monitoring for durable roads.
The departments should start finding answers as to why every year there is a need to blacktop the roads. Necessary steps need to be taken in advance to save the surface from damaging during snow clearance.
While insufficient drainage allows rainwater and snowmelt to seep into the road surface, the concerned need to look into the issue and shall address it because it would solve two problems: one that the roads would be saved and second water logging during rains would be prevented.
It is a known fact that damaged roads cause traffic jams as drivers are forced to go slow which invariably causes traffic to pile up and hence jams, sometimes gridlocks. Potholed roads not only reduce the life of the automobile but also bring down its mileage. Authorities need to address the prime and allied issue on priority. Also more scientific means need to be employed in clearance of snow from the roads to prevent abrasion and damages.