A day after the Sree Sankara Bridge in Kalady developed a gaping hole on its deck, the PWD on Sunday began works to fix the hole as well as strengthen the structure.
District Collector M.G. Rajamanickam said a decision with regard to completing the repair works on the bridge in 15 days was taken during a meeting convened on Sunday at the Aluva palace. The meeting, attended by the MLAs, panchayat members, PWD officials and local leaders of various political outfits, also reached a consensus on suspending the ongoing protests at the location so that PWD could begin works at the earliest. On Saturday night, the activists had prevented PWD officials from carrying out repairs on the recently-repaired bridge.
“The works, which resumed from Sunday onwards, will be carried out on a round-the-clock basis. Besides, a social monitoring committee having a member each from the various political parties and other agencies, including the merchants association, has been formed to monitor the progress of works,” the official said. As part of it, movement of heavy vehicles along the route has been banned while light vehicles, including cars, will be permitted to pass through the bridge.
Besides, the meet also decided to prepare a revised estimate to renovate the bridge and to build a parallel bridge. This will be submitted in the meet called by the Chief Minister on September 24MLA booed
Earlier on the day, Mr. Rajamanickam inspected the bridge at 10.30 a.m. along with Angamaly MLA Jose Thettayil. Local people booed at the MLA charging that he was stonewalling the project by demanding an alternative alignment for the new bridge’s approach road.New bridge
Meanwhile, PWD Minister Ibrahim Kunju said the survey of land for constructing a new parallel bridge in Kalady and its approach roads was already complete and tenders would be floated soon.
Traffic along the bridge was thrown out of gear after it developed a hole on Saturday morning. Motorists were left stranded on either side of the Periyar after a large concrete block on the ageing bridge gave way and fell into the river. Earlier in March 2012, the State government had allocated Rs.42 crore for a new bridge. However, LDF MLAs Jose Thettayil and Saju Paul are since opposing the project arguing that the existing alignment of the approach road would worsen traffic congestion in the area. The project remained in cold storage ever since.