CSML going all out to complete pending projects, says CEO

Among the ₹1,000-crore worth projects, CSML has allocated ₹300 crore to develop smart roads and upgrade several others

Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) is trying its best to complete pending road and allied infrastructure projects in Kochi and West Kochi, despite inordinate delay on the part of various agencies in relocating utility cables / pipelines, COVID curbs at worksites, and the inadequate availability of workers due to the pandemic, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jafar Malik has informed.

The Smart City proposal for Kochi has adopted retrofitting as the development strategy to transform Kochi into a sustainable, inclusive and economically-vibrant city of opportunities having efficient urban services, traditional hospitality, and smart governance. A bulk of these works under the ₹1,000-crore project are nearing completion in eight wards of the Kochi Corporation — three in the city hub and five in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry.

Among the ₹1,000-crore worth projects, CSML has allocated ₹300 crore to develop smart roads and upgrade many others. In this, ₹200 crore is exclusively for roads and the remaining ₹100 crore for smart LED lighting and development of allied electrical infrastructure. Smart roads have drains, utility ducts, LED lights, smart bus bays, cycle tracks, and wide footpaths, including tactile tiles to help visually-challenged people. Resurfacing using dense bituminous macadam (DBM) is over on Shanmugham Road, Park Avenue Road, and DH Road. Their footpath works will start relocating utility cables through ducts.

West Kochi hurdles

Compared with the mainland, the agency encountered countless difficulties during work at sites in West Kochi. Smart roads worth ₹30.31 crore are incomplete, since the contractor was unable to continue the work, following which CSML has sent a notice for termination of the contract and to re-tender it. A total of 53 other roads covering 14 km are being improved, with LED lights and drains.

“CSML is working amid constraints like the pandemic situation, containment zone restrictions, lockdown, employees testing COVID positive, inadequate workers, materials shortage, and price hike of materials. But we are committed to complete the works as early as possible,” Mr. Malik said.

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