Kerala to explore constructing special utility corridors, says minister

State govt. will assess whether special utility corridors can be created to accommodate drinking water pipelines, drainage pipes, gas pipelines, electricity cables, internet-phone cables, etc.

Updated - June 10, 2024 10:14 pm IST

Published - June 10, 2024 10:13 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The State government has decided to convene a meeting of utility agencies to examine whether special utility corridors can be made along the existing roads in the State to draw the utility cables, Public Works and Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas has said. Replying to a calling attention raised by T.P. Ramakrishnan, MLA, in the Assembly on Monday, the minister said the drinking water pipelines, drainage pipes, gas pipelines, electricity cables, internet-phone cables, etc. are mainly passing through public works roads in the State. 

A Right of Way (RoW) portal has been set up to apply for and obtain permission to install utilities along the roads of the Public Works department (PWD). The details of works that have received administrative sanction under the department are made available on this portal. This has helped to avoid the situation of cutting open the road for drawing utility cables after road works. However, there have been issues in some places, like when the agencies or departments that installed the utility did not restore the road after completion of the work. 

The department has now asked the Secretary of PWD to explore the possibility of constructing a duct along the road to draw utilities. “Once a duct is built along the road, we can draw the utilities through it, addressing the issue of digging open the roads after the road works. This is also beneficial for the roads, as it will help the roads last longer. This cannot be done by the PWD alone, and the support of other departments is required,” said the minister.

Along with this, if utility agencies employ trenchless technology for their work, roads can also be retained in good condition. The PWD will make necessary interventions to make available technologies like Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) in Kerala as well. In the HDD method, the road does not need to be completely dug up, and some utility agencies have started to make use of this, the minister said. 

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