Potholes, uneven roads, and puddle roads are a common sight during monsoons in India. I’ve always wondered if maybe the authorities did it right, if maybe there was no corruption (I like to day dream), if maybe they get the asphalt formula from other countries (damn! they have great roads), we’ll all be safe from these potential death traps.
For the past few months, I saw that the road transportation corporation was frantically repairing the roads to prepare them for the monsoons. They re-roaded, revamped and built roads from scratch. I honestly thought this time it would be different (yup! I am naïve). I was wrong.
Then, I noticed something. The roads do not break and wither because of over use. After they had repaired the roads, all was fine; the roads did not degenerate. After 2 days of rains, the roads started to disintegrate. The gravel was out and the road was breaking. Why?
Seems the roads in India consists of 3 layers: asphalt, gravel and sand mixture, and more asphalt. So, why is asphalt breaking? Because of rain water. Indian rains are harsh. The intensity and the sheer quantity is more. Hence we have a season named after these rains, Monsoons. The key is in the drainage of this copious amount of water (of course we can store it to solve the water problem that seems to be a never-ending struggle in every part of India; let us not discuss that now).
The water drainage is the one that is causing the well-laid out roads to wither. The water from the flyovers are draining out of small drainage holes onto the roads below (it is like a waterfall people! But in the middle of the road). The drains in the side of the main highways are not enough. The roads are still water-logged. Apart form this, there is water that drains from the hills and collects on the roads. So, the solution to Indian bad roads is rain water drainage. Seems simple right? It is actually is.
If the government corrects the drains and makes provision to divert rain water to these drains, the roads don’t wither.
I hope the authorities work together and build proper drainage systems and water collection wells, instead of re-repairing the damaged roads. Because repair is a temporary solution. The problem will come back to bite you. Addressing the root of this problem will also be tax-payer money well spent.
A good road is the foundation for hassle-free, free-flowing traffic. It also reduces the commuting time. And we literally save lives (phew! that’s a lot of preaching. Ahhh… I sound like my civics teacher form 6th standard).
And hating rains is not healthy. Because without clean water, there is no tomorrow. I hope by next monsoons, there are provisions to drain water from roads and collect it in mud-walled wells (this solves the problem of decrease in ground water).