Kerala

Shortage of materials hampers hill highway works in Idukki

A view of the works on the hill highway near Elappara on the Kuttikanam-Chappathu stretch in Idukki district.  

The works on the Kuttikanam-Chappathu stretch of the hill highway have been affected by the severe shortage of crushed granite and other construction materials. The assistant engineer of the Public Works Department (PWD), Peerumade division, said that the works on the 18-km stretch were progressing at a slow pace now.

The granite used to be brought from a crusher unit at Anakkara, near Kumily. When the unit was closed, the material was procured from units outside the district. However, supply fell short as protection walls had to be constructed at many places on the hilly stretch.

‘Only for a week’

“Only one-third of the manpower is being used for the work due to the shortage of materials,” said Shijo, project manager. He added that works would have to be stopped in a week if the construction materials were not made available. The lockdown also impacted the works’ progress, he said.

It is feared that rain could trigger landslips if the protection walls are not built on time in areas where large-scale earthwork has been done. As per the agreement, the works have to be completed before April 2022.

Complaints about NH work

Meanwhile, the district administration has begun a survey to find the quantity of rocks blasted on the Gap Road stretch of the Kochi-Dhanushkodi National Highway in Munnar.

A team of geologists will inspect the site and submit a report following complaints that huge rocks from the area were crushed and sold as granite to other customers, according to Devikulam Subcollector S. Prem Krishnan. As per rules, the blasted rocks can be used only for the road-widening works there.

The ₹268.2-crore road-widening works on the 41-km-long Munnar-Bodimettu stretch were launched in 2017.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 10:49:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/shortage-of-materials-hampers-hill-highway-works/article34846366.ece

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