Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Ltd. (TRDCL), the concessionaire of the City Road Improvement Project, has approached the city police seeking action against the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activists under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act for defacing the RR Lamp-East Fort stretch with graffiti. The complaint from TRDCL in this regard was forwarded to the Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB), the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under the Public Works Department, on Wednesday after the concessionaire came to the conclusion that the 2-km arterial road will need resurfacing at a cost of Rs.1.1 crore.
The TRDCL has asked the police to register a case against the activists who wrote graffiti on the stop lines, pedestrian crossings, and road markings on the stretch in connection with its Youth March that concluded in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. The TRDCL has also urged the police to recover the damages as it is maintaining the road under a 15-year contract.
The Spencer Junction-Secretariat stretch is the worst hit. A TRDCL official told The Hindu that the arterial road had been defaced despite repeated warnings and appeals to political parties, trade unions, and youth organisations. “Our warnings have fallen on deaf ears and we want the police to act sternly as it affects the safety of road-users. We are also hoping that the government will intervene to reach a consensus on the upkeep of the roads,” he added.
The damage to the pedestrian crossings in the RR Lamp-East Fort stretch will come to Rs.5.5 lakh. Scrapping the paint using wire brush and petrol will weaken the bituminous concrete layer and result in erosion and subsequently in surfacing of potholes. A 2.5-cm thick bituminous concrete layer has to be given to the stretch, according to the officials.