Chief Minister blames rain for delay in repair in northern districts
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Repair of all the roads in the State would be completed by October 15, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said on Thursday.
Addressing the media after a conference of higher officials and chief engineers of the Public Works Department (PWD) here, the Chief Minister said the repair of 1,400 of the 5,430 roads in the State had been completed. About 2,000 roads were under repair.
The maintenance of the remaining roads would be taken up immediately.
He directed the officials to complete the work by the end of next week. Better progress would be achieved with Ministers directly supervising the work.
Money would not be a problem. An amount of Rs.320 crore had already been allocated.
Mr. Achuthanandan said that incessant rain had delayed the repairs, especially in the northern districts.
There were reports that officials had deliberately defaulted on carrying out the repairs. However, the reports were not specific and hence could not be taken seriously.
He said the officials had told him that the repairs could not be carried out even using costly bitumen and technology during rainy days.
Asked whether the absence of a Minister in charge of Public Works was a problem, the Chief Minister quipped that the media could examine what had been the situation when there was a Minister.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced a blockade of roads on October 11 in protest against the failure of the Government to improve the condition of roads despite directives from the High Court.
BJP State president P.K. Krishnadas said the blockade would be for half-an-hour from 11.30 a.m.
He said that many people had lost their lives with their vehicles falling into potholes. The ineptness of the Government was responsible for the situation.
Mr. Krishnadas said the works had not been tendered in time to facilitate corruption.
But the Government was blaming the rain.