Development of National Highways in Kerala is suffering because of the rigid stand taken by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju has said. Expressing dissatisfaction over the NHAI’s attitude, he said this was often against the State’s interests.

He blamed a section of PWD officials for the pathetic condition of roads in Kerala. Speaking after inaugurating the 50th annual meeting of PWD Graduate Engineers’ Association here on Saturday, he said officials and contractors who were inefficient and those who did not act responsibly would be pulled up. As vast amounts of public funds were spent on road repairs, PWD engineers had to probe the reasons why recently resurfaced roads washed away after a few days of heavy rain. He said engineers who failed to implement decisions taken by the department to improve the quality of roads would be pulled up. A few roads were built by adding plastic in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi and they withstood adverse weather. Still, engineers were not keen on adopting this technology.

He directed engineers to ensure that there was no compromise on quality of roadworks. Roads in the State had suffered damage to the tune of Rs.300 crore during the current monsoon. An amount of Rs.145 crore had been earmarked to speed up repairs of badly-potholed roads. Officials who did not allot funds for repair works would be taken to task. Contractors would have to relay roads that were damaged within the guarantee period. Slack resurfacing, inadequate drainage facilities, pipelaying work by KWA and movement of overloaded vehicles had damaged the roads, the Minister said.