The state of Gujarat, India is currently experiencing an intense heatwave. The temperatures in the state are soaring above 40°C (104°F) in some areas. Furthermore, this high temperature is causing the bitumen on the roads to melt, and create a challenging situation for commuters.
Roads in Surat and Ahmedabad Damaged by Melting Bitumen
According to reports from the Times of India, the heat has caused the bitumen on the roads to melt. That has created sticky patches that can cause vehicles and people to get stuck. This has led to traffic congestion and accidents, as drivers struggle to navigate the affected roads.
The situation is particularly dire in the cities of Surat and Ahmedabad. Here, the roads have been severely damaged by the melting bitumen. In some areas, the damage is so extensive that the road surface has completely disintegrated, leaving behind dangerous potholes.
Footwear gets stuck in Bitumen
As the bitumen on the roads melts, it creates sticky patches that can cause footwear to get stuck. Hence, making it difficult for people to walk. This situation has raised concerns about the safety of pedestrians, as walking barefoot in extreme heat can cause burns, blisters, and other foot injuries. Moreover, the sticky bitumen can also attract debris and other materials that can further damage the feet. Local authorities have advised commuters to wear closed-toe shoes that are made of thick and sturdy materials. They are also urging people to avoid walking on the bitumen wherever possible. Furthermore, to take alternative routes to reach their destinations.
Additionally, experts recommend that the authorities conduct regular inspections of the roads to identify areas where the bitumen is susceptible to melting. This will help them take proactive measures to repair the damaged roads and prevent accidents and injuries caused by the melting bitumen.
Local authorities have been struggling to contain the situation, with many road repair crews working around the clock to fix the damaged roads. However, the sheer scale of the damage has made it difficult for them to keep up with the repairs.
Experts Explain the Science Behind the Melting Bitumen
According to experts, the melting bitumen is a result of the combination of high temperatures and the quality of the bitumen used on the roads. In some cases, low-quality bitumen that is not suitable for the prevailing temperature has been used, leading to melting.
Additionally, the high temperatures cause the bitumen to soften, which reduces its resistance to the weight of vehicles and pedestrians. This can cause the road surface to crack and disintegrate, creating potholes and other damage.
The heatwave in Gujarat has created a challenging situation for commuters, with the melting bitumen on the roads causing traffic congestion, accidents, and difficulties for pedestrians. Local authorities are working hard to repair the damage, but the situation is expected to persist as the heat wave continues. To prevent similar situations in the future, experts recommend using high-quality bitumen that is suitable for the prevailing temperature and taking measures to reduce the impact of heat waves on the roads.
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