Mumbai Road Conditions

Do you know the prices of cars in India are among the highest in the world (leaving aside hatchbacks). The reason for the high prices is not because manufacturers want to make a big buck on every sale (there are a few though) but because of the high taxation on automobiles. The type of taxes at every stage is just insane. Even when you go to buy a car, you pay a good amount over the ex-showroom price for road tax, RTO, registration charges. In spite of all this, we are not quite sure where the money is going.

Road conditions during the monsoons give a true picture of what quality of materials were used to make the roads. Other than Delhi, roads everywhere else are pathetic. They are so bad that even the latest generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which has Magic Body Control (a system which monitors the road ahead via a windscreen mounted camera, thereby adjusting the suspension to give occupants a fantastic ride quality with minimal bumps) would get confused. There are not just minor potholes, but big craters at many places.

So why do the roads fall into pieces every year, even though we have just four months of monsoon. In the UK, it rains all throughout the year and the roads are fantastic. It is because of several reasons. The local state government has bids to give contract to construction companies, who underbid heavily to win the contract. How much do they underbid? Reports suggest that if the road would take Rs. 1 crore to make, they would bid Rs. 25 lakhs. There is no minimum ceiling for the bid and thus companies just want to win the contract at any cost.

It is not possible to give Porsche Cayman levels of performance for SsangYong Rexton money, so naturally the companies making the road indulge in heavy cost cutting. Cement is one of the most expensive materials in road construction and they use minimum of it. This leads to the roads breaking in quick time. Thus roads are made every year post monsoons and the overall expenditure exceeds what it would have taken to make the roads properly at the first time.

The biggest issue is for motorcyclists as it becomes very dangerous when all of a sudden a big bump appears from no where. If you are aware of where the bump is, you will slowdown only to be splashed with dirty rain water from a car next to you. The situation is bad and although everyone is aware about it, no action is being taken. Pathetic road conditions are even on expressways and bridges where you pay toll tax to use the road. So where is all this money really going? It’s definitely not being used in the maintenance of our roads.

We took a quick drive with our camera mounted on the vehicle to record how bad the roads are. The video has been sped up as we had to be very slow as the potholes were way too many. What do you think is the solution to this highway robbery being done by our authorities?

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