Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Ltd. (TRDCL) has stepped up efforts to complete the work on six road corridors taken up under the City Roads Improvement Project by August 23.
Construction teams have been mobilised and machinery pressed into service to meet the deadline of the Chief Minister's 100-day programme. The work involves resurfacing of newly widened roads, construction of stormwater drains, paving of footpaths, and installation of street lights.
The concessionaire is hoping to commission the stretch of M.G. Road from the LMS junction to Pazhavangady within the scheduled time. While most of the corridor has been surfaced, the paving of footpaths, a time-consuming work, is less than 50 per cent complete. While the footpaths from RR Lamp to VJT Hall have been tiled, those from the VJT Hall to Overbridge junction are under construction.
The massive trees on the footpath in front of University College pose a hurdle to laying interlocking tiles. “The tiles have to be laid around the tree trunks without damaging the roots. It would leave little space for pedestrians, but since the trees have to be maintained, there is no alternative,” a project official said.
Construction teams are hard at work filling up the gaps in the stormwater channels running under the two-metre-wide footpath before laying the tiles. Unauthorised parking of vehicles on the half-finished footpaths is a problem the workers have to contend with. They are often forced to wait for hours for motorists to remove their vehicles.
TRDCL has proposed the installation of concrete bollards to prevent vehicles from crossing the kerb. The cylindrical structures will be high enough to discourage people from sitting on them, yet low enough to prevent parking on the footpath. They will be spaced to permit pedestrians to pass through the gaps.
Project officials said the elevated footpaths in front of the Secretariat and on the Overbridge-Pazhavangady stretch would be retained without modification.
New street lights
TRDCL is awaiting power connection for the new street lights installed on the medians along MG Road up to Overbridge junction. “We hope to be able to switch on the lights in two or three days,” the official said. The servo-controlled street lights featuring twin arc filaments are more durable and energy efficient. TRDCL claims that the timer-equipped lights first installed on the LMS-Netaji Bose Square stretch had led to a 38 per cent saving on power bills. The lights can be monitored and operated from a control centre. Their voltage can be monitored and luminosity adjusted to match vehicular traffic as in the case of traffic signal lights.
The other stretches to be taken up for completion before August 23 include the Attakulangara-Eenchakkal, Kumarapuram-Poonthi-KIMS-NH bypass, Nandavanam-Bakery Junction-Panavila-Model School, Kowdiar-Peroorkada, and a one-km portion of the Peroorkada-Vazhayila corridor.
The surfacing of the 1.4-km Attakulangara-Eenchakkal stretch is almost over. The road will be provided with a 2 m footpath on either side. Traffic lights are to be installed at the Attakulangara end. Officials said they were in talks with the NH Division to install signal lights at the Eenchakkal side.
New traffic lights are to come up at the Statue, Kuravankonam, West Fort, Jawahar Nagar, TTC, Pulimoodu, Ayurveda College, and Panavila junctions. Islands have been planned at the Ayurveda College and Panavila junctions to regulate the heavy traffic.
Construction of drains on the Thakaraparambu-Nalumukku road through Kaithamukku has also picked up.