It’s less of a road and more of a collection of potholes.
After years of tightfistedness, Vennala-Palachuvadu Road is a patchwork of potholes and dodgy temporary repairs.
The traffic along the road is increasing by the day as it provides a link to Kakkanad and Kalamassery through the Seaport-Airport Road. The road is shared by the Infopark staff also as it helps them to skirt the traffic-choked Chembumukku-Padamugal stretch on the Palarivattom-Kakkanad Road.
Manoj, a local resident, said maintenance works on both ends of the road on Vennala and Palachuvadu have either been completed or are underway, leaving the almost 2-km stretch between these points an island of gutters. A relatively new resident to the place, he has been wondering why the road is being treated like a pariah.
The anger over the backbreaking ride is being directed at the people’s representative. A banner fluttering on a tree facing the road asks aloud “whether the local MLA is in a slumber or just feigning so”.
Suni, an autorickshaw driver, felt that the road lacks a guardian angel because it falls under mixed jurisdiction. The stretch to the east of the Palachuvadu bridge comes under the Thrikkakara municipality and that to the west is the responsibility of the Corporation. “Before the road materialised, there was a ferry service, and now I feel that may be it was better. Besides, I don’t remember this road being fully tarred ever since it was constructed except for the patch works done from time to time,” he said.
Wallets take the pounding
Motorists are fuming at the soaring repair bills. Nizar, who operates water tanker, said the bad state of the road had taken a toll on his lorry. “Leaf springs of lorries develop complaints often after being driven through potholed road. When the lorries are loaded the impact is worse,” he said.
Ashokan, a vegetable vendor in the area for the last 14 years, said people in the locality were fed up of the backbreaking journey through the road for close to two years. He said the road was asphalted sometime back but the tar was so thinly laid that it got washed away in the first rain.
“Next time if they do an eye-wash job instead of decent tarring people will stop it. Any more delay and people will be forced to organise a strong protest,” he said.
A signature campaign was undertaken by the residents' associations and Parent Teachers’ Association in the nearby Vennala Government High School and memorandums handed over to the MLA and the Collector. .
Naushad Pallachi, municipal councillor for the area, said traffic, including heavy vehicles, through the road created by filling up paddy fields may have perhaps exceeded the carrying capacity. He said a proposal worth Rs. 2.72 crore for the maintenance of the road has been forwarded for administrative sanction by the MLA.