Road development project in capital city

The model adopted for development and maintenance of 42 km of road under the City Road Improvement Project (CRIP) in the capital will be extended to other towns and cities in the State.

The Public Works Department (PWD) is in various stages of taking up road development on the lines of CRIP in five places — Kollam, Kottayam, Thrissur, Malappuram, and Kannur.

The plan for road development in Ernakulam and Kozhikode has been approved. The project is being executed under the supervision of the Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB), a special purpose vehicle formed under the PWD. Though the development of roads under CRIP in Thiruvananthapuram is yet to be completed, the project has yielded considerable direct and indirect benefits, says traffic and transport expert N.S. Srinivasan.

The direct benefits include savings in vehicle operating costs, value of travel time saved, reduction in maintenance cost, and savings in administrative cost. The major indirect benefit is the increase in property value and rental value, says Dr. Srinivasan, who was associated with the project.

The roads developed under CRIP in Thiruvananthapuram have withstood wear and tear for the past six years. Good road redesign and geometric correction, proper rebuilding and relaying, paved footpaths, solar-powered traffic signals, GPS-enabled street lighting, enhanced road-safety features, and a 15-year maintenance contract have made the project worth emulating, experts say. The improvements ensure an even dispersal of traffic, thereby minimising the total transportation cost.

A study by Dr. Srinivasan on economic evaluation of CRIP, taking into consideration only savings in vehicle operating costs and travel time, has revealed that the 42-km stretch will yield a direct benefit of Rs.70 crore annually.