Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has directed the Public Works Department (PWD) Secretary to ensure that the repair and maintenance on the Punalur-Kottavasal stretch of NH 208 is done in three weeks.

The order was issued by SHRC Member S. Varghese after travelling along the stretch to get first-hand information on the condition of the road.

Prof. Varghese’s action came in the wake of newspaper reports about frequent accidents on the stretch. The SHRC then registered a case suo motu and held a sitting at Kollam.

The Chief Engineer (CE) of the National Highways Department was summoned at the sitting. The CE had then admitted that the condition of the stretch was deplorable and undertook to do repair and maintenance.

The Commission pointed out that the road could not be described as a National Highway. Both sides of the road had crumbled badly due to which accidents were taking place.

The Commission found that the Tamil Nadu stretch of the road from Kottavasal to Thiruvamangalam was in a good condition. Prof. Varghese pointed out that the departments might be facing a lot of technical problems but the threat to the lives of people travelling along the road could not be ignored. He contended that the officials were also responsible for the accidents taking place along the stretch.