The Kerala Public Works Department is setting up a toll-free telephone number for the public to prefer complaints about the condition of public roads.

Works Minister P.J. Joseph told the media here on Friday that engineers of the Department would respond to public complaints within 48 hours. They had been authorised use to new technology that would enable them to repair potholes on roads within a short time.

The Minister said that people from any part of the State could call the toll free number 1800-4257771 and complain about condition of roads, bridges and buildings under the Department and deficiencies in their construction. The official concerned would call back the complainant within 48 hours and initiate remedial measures.

Mr. Joseph said that the facility, which is part of the public information cell of the Department at Kerala State Transport Project headquarters, would start functioning from November 23. The service would be available from 9.30 a.m. to 5 pm on working days.

He said that the Principal Secretary (Public Works) Tom Jose would personally oversee the functioning of the new service. To make it work effectively, mobile phones would be provided to all assistant engineers of the national highways, roads, bridges and buildings sections of the Department.

The Minister said that the Central Government would be funding the acquisition of land for the proposed expressway from Kanyakumari to Mangalore. If the project is approved, the Centre might also provide viability gap funding. The project was being proposed as part of the National Expressway Network.