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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is city getting road mgmt system?

Mumbai: If all goes well, Mumbaikars might get some relief from bad roads and poor road maintenance this Independence Day. After a long delay, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to launch its ambitious software-—Road Maintenance Management System (RMMS). 
    Designed by Frischmann Prabhu (India) Pvt Ltd, the software aims at maintaining an exhaustive record of the city's road network and assigning responsibility to BMC engineers. More than 100 engineers would be using the system to maintain roads. 
    Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta told TOI, "We are planning to start the RMMS on August 15. A meeting of all engineers has been called so that the system can be explained to them. Things like appointing contractors for roadwork contracts (RWC) have also been done." 
    The project was in the pipeline for more than a year. "We have been working on the system… A large part of the work has been completed," said a consultant. 

    For the first time, the civic body plans to assign responsibility for each road under its network to a particular sub-engineer, who would be designated as road engineer (RE) and would be the "guardian 

of the roads under him". The BMC has always been slammed by experts for its lack of systematic maintenance leading to an early deterioration in road quality. Under the new system, every road will be numbered, included in a group and entrusted to an RE. The RE would be responsible for regular inspection of roads, in accordance with a recommendation of the Standing Technical Adviso
ry Committee (STAC), and also their maintenance. 
    Till now, a large chunk of road repairs has been done on corporators' request. Despite repeated pleas by STAC, the BMC did not maintain any record of the road system. 
    But the RMMS will record every detail: from the name of the contractor concerned to roadside utilities like underground drainage system and pavements to the RE's condition rating. 
    The software has been customized to such an extent that even a roughness index—undulation per km—will be measured and recorded. It will also help the civic body to make budgetary estimates. Budget allocation will also be done on the basis of road condition. For instance, the software will help an RE allocate resources on the basis of the severity of the condition of a road. 
    But roads department officials are not sure if the system would be brought in this season. "Our engineers are busy with the pothole tracking system," said a senior official. "Thanks to the online system, unlike last year, the hands of engineers are full with pothole filling work."


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