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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Government to speed up flood control project

Staff Reporter

Thakarapparambu culvert to be rebuilt in three weeks

Reconstruction of culverts to resume next week Public protest against delay, action council formed Move to expedite land acquisition for roads project

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Government has decided to accelerate the flood control project for the East Fort area following a spate of protests from local residents and traders.

A meeting of officials representing various departments this week decided to expedite the work on the reconstruction of the two culverts at Pazhavangady and Thakarapparambu.

The Irrigation Department has been instructed to speed up the tendering process for reconstructing the downstream culvert at Thakarapparambu.

"In view of the difficulties caused to the local people, we have decided to re-establish the culvert and open the route to traffic as soon as possible. We have cleared a proposal to short-tender the work and identify a contractor on a priority basis," said Babu Jacob, Advisor to the Government on urban projects.

Light vehicles only

The culvert will be rebuilt as a temporary structure to carry only cars and light commercial vehicles. "It will be designed to become part of the service road running parallel to the proposed flyover across the MG Road from the Power House to Thakarapparambu," Mr. Jacob said.

Project engineers said the work might be completed in three weeks. The flood control project involves rebuilding the culverts after raising the water pipes across the Amayizhanjan canal and desilting the channel.

Public protest

Residents and traders in the Thakarapparambu area are up in arms against the delay in rebuilding the culvert.

An action council has been set up to demand resumption of the work that has been held up for more than two months.

The council said it would launch an agitation to press its demand. "The authorities had promised to reconstruct the culvert by May 30. But three months later, there has been no progress and the work has come to a standstill," said Rajendra Das, Sreekanteswaram ward councillor. Shops and business establishments in the Thakarapparambu area are the worst hit. The neighbourhood is noted for the large number of outlets selling electronic components and goods.

Officials attribute the delay in reconstructing the culvert to technical glitches. Construction engineers said the pipes running under the culvert had to be shifted from their current location to avoid fouling with the pier line for the proposed flyover.

The work on the culvert at the Pazhavangady Junction will also resume next week. The surfacing of the road over the rebuilt section of the culvert on the west side is expected to begin on Tuesday.

"Once this is over, the eastern side of the MG Road at the junction will be closed to traffic and dismantled. If there are water pipes under this section, they may have to be raised," a project official said.

The Government has also decided to expedite land acquisition for the roads project covering 14 routes. As many as 20 additional draughtsmen have been deployed to prepare survey sketches.

Officials said efforts were on to prepare a schedule for handing over of the land required for each road corridor.

"We expect to complete most of the land acquisition by August," they said.

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