Encroachments on footpaths, misuse of lampposts, traffic signposts, and landscaped gardens along the road corridors in the capital, developed under the City Road Improvement Project (CRIP), is hampering the safe movement of the road-users.
Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Ltd (TRDCL), the concessionaire of CRIP, has approached the District Collector and the City Police Commissioner seeking action against encroachers and those misusing roads.
The second-hand book-sellers in front of Ayurveda College; the kiosks in front of the DCC office at Nandavanam, near the General Post Office, Kowdiar Junction Post Office and the Museum police station; fish vendors near Kuravankonam and Upidamoodu junctions; and tender coconut vendors in places such as Fort, Peroorkada, Sasthamangalam, and Murinjapalam were using roads to do business, sources said.
Most political parties and some social organisations also misused road corridors and traffic islands, signal posts, and even bus shelters in the 42-km stretch and kept their flex boards, flags, and publicity materials there, they said.
The ongoing indefinite strike launched by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) near the landscaped garden on the side of the Martyr’s Column had caused damage to the garden. The LDF was not paying the lease amount, Rs.6,000 a day. The amount due was over Rs.6.60 lakh despite many notices, they said.
Upkeep of the landscaped garden by the TRDCL had been severely affected and the sanctity of the landmark places in the capital had been affected. Besides creating problems to the concessionaire and resulting in poor upkeep, the encroachments and the misuse of the road corridors were hampering the safe movement of road users, especially pedestrians, they added. TRDCL had provided the details of encroachments and misuse of roads in various corridors to the District Collector and the City Police Commissioner with supporting photographs numerous times, sources said. “No action is being taken by the authorities. The only solace was the removal of fish vendors from Kuravankonam on Tuesday by the police after residents there protested,” TRDCL Project Director Anil Kumar Pandala said. As per rules, advertisements and posters, posing hindrances to pedestrians or motorists, would not be allowed on the roads developed. TRDCL and the government were bound to ensure that CRIP roads were free of all encroachments. TRDCL had a team to remove illegal flex boards, advertisements, and encroachments. The expenses incurred in their removal would be recovered from those who fixed these structures there.