Kochi

Civil Line Road turns a nightmare for motorists

Hazardous: Gaping potholes dot the PWD-maintained Civil Line Road that links Palarivattom and Kakkanad despite the expiry of the December 31 deadline to repair all damaged roads in the district.

Hazardous: Gaping potholes dot the PWD-maintained Civil Line Road that links Palarivattom and Kakkanad despite the expiry of the December 31 deadline to repair all damaged roads in the district.   | Photo Credit: H_Vibhu

Vennala-Palachuvadu road yet to be restored after being dug up to lay power cables

Commuters from the city to the collectorate, Inforpark, and other places in Kakkanad and beyond are in a fix, thanks to the pothole-ridden arterial Civil Line Road, while the alternative stretch through Vennala and Palachuvadu has not been restored after being dug up to lay power cables.

Both stretches are maintained by the PWD (Roads Wing). The two roads cater for a few lakh motorists who reside or work in Kakkanad and towns located further eastward.

The department has not even done patchwork over the gaping potholes dotting the busy Civil Line Road, despite the expiry of the December 31 deadline set by the State Government. The road was not resurfaced although P.T. Thomas, MLA, had allocated ₹2.25 crore from his constituency fund.

“Back in October 2018, the PWD had assured that it would resurface the road using bituminous macadam bituminous concrete (BMBC) after Ebin Paul, a young two-wheeler rider died in an accident caused by a pothole. The department has not bothered to do even patchwork, leave alone resurfacing the stretch,” said Asees Moolayil, president of the Kakkanad unit of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti.

Little happened although two engineers were suspended for their alleged inaction in the case in 2018. The recent suspension of four engineers of the PWD (Roads Wing) after another two-wheeler rider was run over by a tanker lorry in a pothole-related accident near the Palarivattom metro station a fortnight ago, has not been a deterrent either.

Encroachments

“The PWD continues to be apathetic despite fatal and non-fatal accidents caused by potholes and agitations by traders and others seeking speedy repair of the road. Business has been dull for the past couple of years. The proliferation of potholes and erection of steel medians at Vazhakkala and other places have further affected our income. Pedestrians too are finding the going tough. Even worse, the PWD has failed to remove vendors and other encroachers from Civil Line Road, a stretch used almost daily by the District Collector and officials of the Regional Transport Office (RTO) who are at the helm of the District Road Safety Council,” Mr. Moolayil said.

Collector’s response

Responding to the issue, District Collector S. Suhas said he would enquire with PWD officials about the reason for the inordinate delay in repairing the road.

“I have been regularly interacting with the officials concerned to ensure that repair and resurfacing are completed as per schedule. Civic agencies too must play their part in prevailing over the PWD and be the lead agency in road repair work,” he said.

Funds allotted

A senior PWD engineer said funds totalling ₹4.50 crore had been allotted to repair 3.75 km of Civil Line Road.

“It is awaiting technical sanction. The contractor will be finalised in a month, and resurfacing work can begin soon after. Encroachers will be evicted before the work begins,” he said.

The official said that the resurfacing work on the Vennala-Palachuvadu-Seaport-Airport Road, which was extensively dug up by the KSEB last year for laying power cables, would begin within a week.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 9:57:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/civil-line-road-turns-a-nightmare-for-motorists/article30465182.ece

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