The dream of every motorist to commute pothole-free roads in the country is not a pie in the sky.
So says former director of highways Roger Ganesh a day after his successor Navin Ramsingh told a parliamentary committee that 90 per cent of complaints the Ministry of Works received were about potholes attributed to the Water and Sewage Authority (WASA).
Acting CEO of WASA Alan Poon-King acknowledged that the authority had developed a reputation for damaging roads but assured that new systems were in place to minimise the development of potholes following repair works.
Ganesh, a civil engineer with nearly 50 years experience, says following the completion of repairs to leaking lines crews would often engage in shoddy works when it came to restoring the roadway.
Ganesh cited a recent incident outside his home.
“They came around 7 o’clock at night, dug up the road to fix a leak but to repair the area excavated, they just threw back all the poor material that they dug out below subgrade, stuff it back in the hole, roll the vehicle over it without proper compaction and went their merry way.”
Ganesh stressed that potholes and rough roads could be a jarring experience which motorists do not have to endure if WASA engaged in the proper practice. He said after dealing with former ministers of public utilities on the issue, the common denominator was that WASA personnel accepted that restoration of the roads was not their responsibility and as such no significant attention was paid to quality control.
Ganesh said, “Once WASA follows specifications by the highway division on what materials to use, how to apply it and how to prepare the road in addition to the policing of the project then potholes would be a thing of the past.”