Complaints about visibility and lack of enough display of destination, road, and information signage on the road network of the State will be a thing of the past with Kerala Tourism all set to install 1,600 signboards.
Eleven different types of retroreflective signboards in accordance with the Code of Practice for Road Signs and MoRTH’s (Ministry of Road Transport and Highways) specifications for roads and bridges are to be installed on the National Highways, Main Central Road, and other roads across the State at an estimated cost of Rs.3.44 crore.
Hundreds of tourists, especially those from abroad and other States, arriving for holidaying and stakeholders of the tourism industry had been complaining that the signboards installed years ago were not visible.
Kerala Tourism has entrusted the responsibility of preparing a comprehensive plan for making visible the signage to the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (Natpac). After carrying out a detailed study and assessing the needs for the signage boards, Natpac has suggested need for 1,600 signboards and identified the locations to install them.
Natpac has worked out a plan by grouping the 14 districts into three — Package-I: Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, and Pathanamthitta; Package-II: Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Palakkad; and Package-III: Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur, and Kasaragod. The contract amount fixed for Package I comes to Rs.1.03 crore, Rs.1.50 crore for Package II, and Rs.1.36 crore for Package III.
A top Natpac official told The Hindu that the plan is to complete tender formalities and to install the tourism signboards in six months. A seven-year guarantee has been sought for the boards and those entrusted with the work will have to maintain the boards for five years. The colour, configuration, size, and location of all traffic signs for highways and for other roads will be in accordance with the Code of Practice for Road Signs, IRC (Indian Roads Congress): 67:2012.
Different kind of signboards include those on destination, information for tourists, overhead destination, district layout map, tourist area layout, and others.
Along with this, the government has also asked local bodies to install adequate signposts showing destination, directions, and warning boards using their own funds.