New roads being laid without scraping away the old surface

Various stakeholders have raised concern over the manner in which roads are being re-laid in the city under the Capital City Road Improvement Project (CRIP).

The decision to ‘build up' only the widened portion of the road stretches developed under CRIP is what has come in for criticism.

Road users had pointed out that the re-laying of CRIP roads is done without digging up and removing the old road. Various utility cables and pipes are also retained by the Trivandrum Road Development Company Limited (TRDCL), the implementing agency for CRIP. The almost-completed Vellayambalam-Sasthamangalam stretch also retains its old utility cables and lines, sources said. The re-laying of the stretch is in its final stages.

The TRDCL had only ‘built up' on the widened portion of the Kowdiar-Pattom stretch. Only one side of the road from the Rural Police Superintendent office to Kawdiar had been readied.

In fact, only the shoulders of the road are being developed properly.

The earth removed from various stretches is being deposited near storm water drains. This can get deposited in the open drains during rain.

The quality of the road and riding comfort will be poor as the re-laying is done on the existing road. The newly laid road will have to be dug up to reach the utility cables in case of a snag or a pipe burst. “The authorities should have scraped away the existing road, shifted cables and pipes lying underneath it before re-laying the stretch,” says a motorist.

A TRDCL official said ‘building up' the entire width of roads under CRIP is not mandated in the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and the contract entered into with the Kerala Road Fund Board. “Only the widened portion, on an average 65 cm deep, on both sides of the road, is being dug up and developed, layer-by-layer,” he said.

In the stretches being ‘built up,' the first layer is a 20-35 cm granular sub-base that allows water to percolate. It is followed by a dense wet mix that prevents water from seeping upwards.

Above it, a 5-8 cm dense bitumen macadam is laid. Bituminous concrete wearing coat is provided on the top.

The TRDCL official said the storm water drains had openings every eight metres. This is meant for cleaning work.

“We will rectify the weak stretches although it is not part of the contract,” he added.