Protest mounts against PWD, corporation

Pending patch work on roads

Protest is brewing against the PWD and the Kochi Corporation for their “failure” to complete patch work of roads, despite expiry of several deadlines set by District Collector S. Suhas and PWD Principal Secretary Kamala Vardhana Rao.

The two agencies own and maintain a bulk of roads in the Greater Kochi area. Mr. Suhas on September 17 had warned of registering criminal cases against erring officials and contractors for negligence in ensuring safe and motorable roads.

The PWD (Roads Wing) has made some effort to complete patchwork of roads, as can be seen on the Thammanam-Ponnurunni road and a few other busy stretches. “The area trenched by the Kerala Water Authority [KWA] for pipe-laying work was repaired using wet mix macadam [WMM]. Similar repair work is being carried out on the Edakochi-Thopumpady road and the stretch in front of Government Ayurveda College, Puthiyakavu. Resurfacing using bituminous macadam and bituminous concrete [BMBC] will be done after October, when rain takes a break,” said a senior official.

The PWD (NH Wing) has been slack in carrying out repair work on the NH Bypass and service roads at Kundannoor and Vyttila. Meanwhile, the traffic police said they were fed up with asking PWD officials to fill gaping potholes at Kundannoor Junction. “Service roads in front of Crowne Plaza and Le Meridien are in an even worse condition, although vehicles from the NH Bypass and Maradu have to traverse it to cross over to the opposite side,” they said.

A PWD (NH Wing) official said roads at the two junctions would be restored by October 31. “The water-logged service road on the Vyttila-Kundannoor stretch will have to be raised and covered with paver blocks,” he added.

Lethargy on the part of a section of officials is to blame for the slack pace of repair work on roads owned by the Kochi Corporation, alleged P.M. Harris, chairperson of the corporation works standing committee. “All works have been tendered. Contractors say they need another two to three weeks to complete repair work. Resurfacing of select roads will begin on Monday, since rain has taken a break,” he said.

In the meantime, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said officials of the PWD and the civic body were doing precious little to fill potholes. “They are playing with the lives of people,” said Foji John, Thrikkakara Mandalam convener of the party.

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