Agree to begin repairs in October and give roads a fresh coat before November-end

About 20 contractors who failed to ensure the quality of roadworks in the city have been asked to repair them at their own expense.

The contractors have agreed to begin repairs next month and complete it before November-end.

“They have been served notices by the Kochi Corporation holding them responsible for the poor quality work,” said Soumini Jain, chairperson of the Works Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation.

Taking responsibility for roads developing potholes shortly after work, contractors agreed to repair them when weather conditions became conducive, she said. The contractors had been told that the corporation would not fund repair works as the roads were damaged within the guarantee period. “None of them objected to the notice; all have agreed to re-tar roads at their own expense,” Ms. Jain said.

The poor quality of roadworks had invited the public’s wrath which found resonance in corporation council meetings. Cutting across party lines, councillors demanded action against erring contractors. Some even called for blacklisting the contractors. Some roads were damaged within weeks of repairing them, which resulted in public outcry against contractors.

Ms. Jain said the temporary filling of potholes was carried out in all possible areas. “Repairing the roads using wet rubble will be a futile exercise as it will not remain in tact with bitumen, and will come off the road quickly. Hence, the works will have to wait till the rain recedes and dry weather prevails,” she said.

At the same time, the contractors complained to the civic authorities that the failure to provide at least 48 hours’ time for the repaired road to settle was affecting the quality of work. Vehicular traffic was allowed on freshly laid roads within hours of re-laying them, they said. The bitumen and rubble used would be removed as vehicles sped through the roads, they complained.

According to Ms. Jain, it was not possible to block vehicular traffic along freshly re-laid interior roads as roadworks were progressing on some of the major roads. Moreover, there would be increased vehicular pressure on city roads during various festival seasons making it difficult to completely block traffic, she said.

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