Tarring of Vazhayila-Peroorkada stretch only after rain abates

Normal traffic on the Vazhayila-Peroorkada stretch, which has been in disarray for nearly a month now owing to the road being dug up by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) for replacing a 1,200-mm pre-stressed concrete pipe with mild steel pipes, is likely to be restored in less than three weeks.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting convened by K. Muraleedharan, MLA, here on Tuesday with officials of the Kerala Road Fund Board, the KWA and Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Ltd.

In a statement issued later, Mr. Muraleedharan said it was decided that the KWA would complete water testing on the stretch where the mild steel pipes were already laid, which was about 800 metres, and to make that stretch temporarily suitable for traffic. Proper tarring would be done once the rain subsided.

Proper backfill

Project officials said it would take at least 20 days for the road to be made suitable for normal traffic once the work started. This could be done after ensuring that the backfill undertaken by the KWA was done in the right manner, so that there was no settlement of the road once vehicles started plying.

Proper tarring would have to wait longer, for the rain to abate and then for the moisture to recede completely.

KWA Superintending Engineer K. Sashi said the water testing had begun, and would be completed by Wednesday. The total length of the mild steel pipes laid already was about 3.5 km, before the work was brought to a standstill by the rain. Of this, a 800-m stretch was where traffic was affected the most.

Work remained for about 5.5 km, including a crucial part where the pipes would have to cross the road near the Vazhayila culvert. Efforts were on to see that the culvert was not affected in a major way, and that the road was dug to the minimum extent possible, he said. This, along with the rest of the pipe-laying, would take at least another two months, though efforts were to restart the work as soon as the rain stopped.