Most roads in the city and its suburbs remain pothole-ridden, despite the intervention of the Kerala High Court, and over a fortnight of sunny weather.
Officials in the City Corporation and the Public Works Department attribute this delay to the heavy reliance on manual labour, instead of using machinery like paver machines.
Meanwhile, the contractor who has been engaged in repairing the severely damaged Pandit Karuppan Road in Thevara has abandoned the work half way, alleging that the funds provided by the corporation were insufficient.
“Apart from the discomfort of travelling on severely damaged roads, bad roads also lead to wastage of fuel, excessive wear and tear to vehicles, and accidents. The Pandit Karuppan Road has been in a bad shape for over a year. Many roads get partly submerged during the rain. To avoid this, the drains along the rods should be properly maintained. Most contractors use obsolete technology. This can be overcome if reputed firms are entrusted with the resurfacing works,” K. George Jacob, a senior citizen residing near the Pandit Karuppan Road, said.
Apart from the Pandit Karuppan Road, the Corporation has also taken up repairs on the arterial Chittoor Road, and the Kacheripady-Pachalam Road. Unable to garner funds, it handed over the repair works on the Hospital Road, Kaloor-Pottakuzhi Road, Panampilly Nagar Road, Karshaka Road and Market Road to the PWD.
“We are carrying out patchworks on our roads. This will be followed by resurfacing and all the works will be over by November-December,” said S.P. Rajesh, assistant executive engineer.
The side roads maintained by the City Corporation, many of which were ridden with potholes within weeks of resurfacing, would be repaired on a priority basis, he said.
The PWD (Roads and Bridges wing) would take up patch works on its roads within 10 days, said T.I. Jose, executive engineer.
“Resurfacing will be done after the ‘Thulam' rains,” he said. “The roads will be resurfaced by December end. Tender procedures are over for repairing the Venduruthy Bridge-Naval Base-Vathuruthy road. Drains will have to be built opposite the Naval Base.”
Some of the ill-maintained stretches in the city are under PWD NH wing. Though repair works on the Kundannoor-Maradu-Pettah road has begun, the Kundannoor Bridge and the road and bridges leading to the Mattancherry Bridge are in a deplorable condition, despite heavy toll being levied from motorists using them.
Many roads in West Kochi and Kalamassery too are awaiting repairs.