Kerala

KIIFB-funded project hits a road block

Concreting work on a new culvert progressing on the Kuttoor-Manackachira link road in Thiruvalla on Wednesday.

Concreting work on a new culvert progressing on the Kuttoor-Manackachira link road in Thiruvalla on Wednesday.  

Work on the Kuttoor-Manackachira-Kizhakkan Muthoor-Muthoor Link Road development project, funded by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), has hit a road block allegedly due to lack of coordination and cooperation among various stakeholder departments and the funding agency.

The Public Works Department has launched the project, aimed at developing it as a major diversion route between the MC Road and the Thiruvalla-Kumbazha State Highway, 15 months ago, with a gestation period of 18 months that ends in May.

The Changanacherry-based Palathra Constructions that has undertaken the ₹26.8 crore project has already completed almost 70% of the road work on the 8-km Kuttoor-Kizhakkan Muthoor stretch. However, the PWD is yet to complete the land acquisition process along the remaining 4-km stretch between Kizhakan Muthoor and Muthoor, says Shaji Mathew, company director.

Mr Mathew says, the local people have voluntarily surrendered the land required for widening the road to 10 metres along the Kuttoor-Kizhakkan Muthoor stretch.

Meanwhile, the road work along this stretch has been abruptly stopped owing to the delay on the part of the Kerala State Electricity Board in shifting the electric posts.

The KSEB has demanded ₹91,686 for shifting two electric posts alone, which, the PWD and the KIIFB have found exorbitant. The estimate given by KSEB for shifting electric posts on the 2-km stretch of the road was ₹1.14 crore.

The KSEB Assistant Engineer at Kallisserry says the board has to install only ‘A’ type poles, as per the rules and regulations, and each pole costs ₹20,000.

Similarly, the Kerala Water Authority has submitted a project estimated at ₹1.34 crore for laying new waterlines.

Though the work on a new culvert across the irrigation canal connecting river Manimala and the Madhurampuzha streamhas begun, the Irrigation wing of the Water Resources Department is yet to take necessary steps for installing steel shutters on its riverside portion to regulate flood waters during the monsoon.

Worried lot

Local residents are a worried lot as the existing situation has made the region highly vulnerable to more aggressive floods, if the authorities failed to complete the road work and install the shutters before the onset of monsoon.

Meanwhile, Mathew T.Thomas, MLA, said he has taken note of the issue seriously and necessary steps would be initiated to complete the project as per the schedule itself.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 11:44:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kiifb-funded-project-hits-a-road-block/article30864067.ece

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