To withstand monsoon rain
The roads developed in the first phase of the World Bank-aided Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) are to get a black topping again before the next monsoon at an estimated cost of Rs.968.70 million.
The black topping is being given again to ensure that it can withstand the vagaries of weather for another five to six years and to improve the quality of the roads, a top KSTP official told The Hindu .
The decision to relay the roads that are still in good condition before April next is to prevent seepage of water into the KSTP roads and to check further damage to it. “Majority of the KSTP roads were laid in 2002 and 2003. If the roads are not given a black topping before the South West monsoon, it will crumble and will not be motorable,'' he said.
Along with the relaying of the KSTP roads, the shoulders of the road will also be developed and damages in the road signages installed as part of the project will be rectified as well.
“The riding quality improvement works in the roads developed in the first phase of the project will be executed within six to nine months in view of the monsoon,'' the official said.
The KSTP roads that are to get a black topping are Mannanthala–Taikod (Venjaramoodu) Road, Peroorkada–Nedumangad Road, Varkala–Kallambalam Road and Kollam–Ayoor Road (together Rs.256.70 million).
Second set of roads
The second set of roads identified are Thiruvalla–Mavelikara Road, Alappuzha-Changanasserry Road, Pala–Erattupetta Road (together Rs.241 million).
Poonjasserry-Chitrapuzha Road, Muttom-Paramada Road, and Thodupuzha-Oonnukal Road are to be improved at a cost of Rs.188 million.
The Kuttiyadi-Kellur Road, Narukara-State Border, and Nedumpoyil-Iritty Road are to be relaid at a cost of Rs.283 million.
The works that had already been tendered include a five-year maintenance contract in addition to the one-year defect liability period. It is for the first time that five year maintenance contract is given along with the relaying of the road.
Adequate safeguards had been taken to ensure that the quality standards prescribed by the KSTP are adhered to and that only experienced contractors having the latest machinery gets the contract, he said.
World Bank aid
The KSTP project, launched in 2002, was originally estimated to cost Rs.1,612.80 crore. It envisaged upgrade of the quality of key roads, over 1,600 km, and developing to navigable standards 93 km of inland waterways.
The World Bank aid for the project came to Rs.1,224 crore and the State's contribution was Rs.388.8 crore.
Another 41 km of road was also taken up under road maintenance contract (RMC) at a cost of Rs.180 crore. Along with this, additional heavy maintenance of Ettumanur-Vaikom; Pala-Kaduthuruthy; Kannur-Mattannur; Palakkad-Meenakshipuram; Kidanganoor-Manarkkad, and Thodupuzha-Udambanoor stretches were also taken up.