Many recently resurfaced roads in Kochi awaiting to be trenched

Potholes dot the southern end of the arterial M.G. Road, owned by the PWD. The High Court had recently directed civic agencies to ensure pothole-free roads.   | Photo Credit: H. VIBHU

Even as civic agencies say they are waiting for the rains to subside to mend potholed roads, fear is rife that some of them, including a few arterial roads, will be trenched in the forthcoming months to lay gas/water pipelines and cables.

Among them is S.A. Road, which the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) resurfaced with tarmac finish a year ago, a portion of which is awaiting trenching to lay gas pipelines. “The Kochi Corporation had earlier denied permission for trenching, unless the full cost of restoration was paid. We cannot deny permission any more, since the State Government has issued an order permitting trenching of roads to lay gas pipelines,” said Sunitha Dixon, chairperson of works standing committee of the civic agency.

With this, fear is now rife that other agencies too will wantonly dig roads, to lay pipelines and cables, sans obtaining permission and remitting the mandatory fee with the road-owning agency concerned. Often, such agencies seek permission to trench a 100-metre-long stretch and end up trenching a kilometre of the road, she said.

Mayor M. Anilkumar said a meeting of councillors was held to ensure speedy restoration work after trenching.

Speaking of the hassles in restoring BMBC roads that are trenched, Public Works Department (PWD) sources said it was next to impossible to restore the trenched portion alone in such roads. “Oftentimes, the restored portion does not align with the rest of the road, with the result that potholes form in vulnerable portions. Much the same occurs even if a trench having a width of just an inch is made to lay Internet and telecom cables and is restored using concrete or bitumen, on BMBC roads. It has been observed that potholes that are as wide as the entire width of many roads develop due to such seemingly harmless trenching,” they added.

Restoration of such small trenched portions is tough, even if cold mix bitumen is relied on, the sources said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 1:23:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/many-recently-resurfaced-roads-in-kochi-awaiting-to-be-trenched/article37616092.ece

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