Potholes at East Fort Junction yet to be filled by Public Works Department.

The agonising wait of the residents of Tripunithura for the removal of traffic bottlenecks at Kizhakekotta (East Fort) Junction and Statue junction has just got longer.

The expansion of East Fort junction seemed a simple task when the land acquired at the south-east end of the junction from the Excise Department was handed over to the Public Works Department.

However, the road expansion plan has hit a roadblock with rehabilitation issues still not sorted out and the project in need of more land.

A transformer needs to be relocated and land needs to be acquired at the north-east side of the junction to create a bell mouth on both sides of the Hill Palace which meets East Fort Junction.

“A proposal for acquiring more land has been sent to the District Collector,” said R. Venugopal, chairman of Tripunithura Municipal council.

Shops at all the four corners of East Fort would be affected during the road expansion. Opposition leader in the council C.N. Sundaran said the municipal council had accepted a proposal put forward by the opposition to rehabilitate shopkeepers. The rehabilitation proposal includes building a new shopping complex cum office area in the space presently occupied by the PWD office and the Food Inspector’s office in Tripunithura. The building will accommodate shopkeepers who are willing to give up their land for the project.

Land would be first acquired near Statue junction to remove traffic bottlenecks on that stretch, he said.

Meanwhile, complaints about the condition of the East Fort junction that is riddled with huge potholes is yet to be addressed by the Public Works Department. The department was entrusted with undertaking repair works after Onam and before the start of the Sabarimala season.

Though PWD officials claimed that there were technical difficulties in getting the work sanctioned, allegations of corruption have been levelled against the department.

PWD officials told The Hindu that shortage of staff, overseers and instruments was causing the delay. They also said that the contractors entrusted with the repair work were not taking up the work on time.

The repair work costing Rs. 96 lakh has to be done from S.N. Junction to Kandanad in different phases. The phases include East Fort Junction, the 450 metre stretch from SN Junction and the Puthiyakavu road.

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