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Local contractors to execute CRIP work

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Development disconnect: A bird’s eye view of the half-finished flyover at Bakery Junction in Thiruvananthapuram. -
Development disconnect: A bird’s eye view of the half-finished flyover at Bakery Junction in Thiruvananthapuram. -

T. Nandakumar

TRDCL to supervise the work resuming this week

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Work on the City Roads Improvement Project (CRIP) is set to resume this week in a new format involving local contractors.

Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Ltd. (TRDCL), the private consortium executing the project, has opted for a supervisory role, leaving a major portion of the work to the contractors.

“We have identified local contractors with the necessary expertise and resources. The company will have a strict monitoring system to ensure that there is no compromise on the quality of work,” a project manager said.

The project had been bogged down for more than a year following the delay on the part of the State government in acquiring the land needed for road development. Early this year, the government renewed the contract with the TRDCL and stepped up efforts to complete land acquisition. It agreed to arbitration to settle the company’s claim for compensation to offset the losses caused by the delay.

Tom Jose, Secretary, Public Works Department (PWD), said most of the land required had been acquired. “The government is accelerating efforts to resolve the disputes over land acquisition. We expect to find a settlement soon,” he said.

Project managers said the pending works, including reconstruction of drains and repair of damaged medians, would begin this week. Piling for the flyover at the Bakery junction was expected to resume shortly.

“The construction of the box structure will take more time because the special shuttering required for the work is supplied only by two companies in India,” a TRDCL official said.

Work on trial pits for the second flyover at Mele Pazhavangady is scheduled to commence soon on Power House Road, from the second railway terminal to the Parthas junction.

Project managers said the decision to utilise local contractors would obviate the need for a massive remobilisation of manpower and machinery.

“Many of the contractors have modern equipment, such as mechanised pavers. The TRDCL will supply materials such as bitumen and concrete and keep a strict tab on the quality of work,” an official said.

With the project grinding to a halt in November 2006, Punj Lloyd, the engineering firm in the consortium, had redeployed most of its workforce and machinery to its project sites in other States.

The government’s efforts to identify a new camp site for the project yielded results last week. After several rounds of negotiations, the Department of Agriculture agreed to lease out a plot from the World Market Complex at Anayara by the side of the Kovalam-Kazhakuttam National Highway bypass.

The TRDCL will use the site to locate its bitumen mixing plant, concrete batching unit, equipment yard and casting facilities for drains and kerbs. PWD sources said the stalemate over the lease amount had been resolved. Punj Lloyd has started mobilising its mixing plants and heavy machinery from project sites in Gujarat, Bihar and Assam.

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