‘Work slow on Kerala highways’

World Bank mission reviews corridors’ work, to submit report

Even as the future of the World Bank (WB)-aided Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) Phase II hangs in balance, a WB mission that reviewed the works in eight corridors across the State has noted “slow progress” in the upgrade of 363 km of State Highways.

The mission found that the $22 million road safety component, an integral part of the ongoing $445 million KSTP Phase II, aimed at vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, have been “sidelined and ignored.” The WB extended a soft loan of $210 million for the Phase II kicked off in June 2013.

Five-day review

The mission, comprising Satish Sagar Sharma, highway engineer, and Sony Thomas, road safety expert, toured the corridors from Kasaragod for five days from June 5 to review the work’s progress.

Only 75% of the works have been completed on the Kasaragod-Kanhangad (27.78 km) stretch. Road safety improvements suggested in January have been ignored. In a 9-km corridor under Bekal police station, eight persons died and 30 were critically injured in road accidents in the January-May 2017 period.

Cross as hurdle

On the Chengannur-Ettumanur (47 km) corridor, 69% works have been completed till last week. The delay in demolishing a cross for an approach road has held up works. Though land was acquired in 2001, the revenue authorities did not remove the cross. Local people are now demanding 14 lakh and one-and-a-half cents of land as compensation. Although 50% of the 2.3 km elevated Thiruvalla bypass have been completed, the delay in granting clearance to the viaduct has stalled works

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 4:12:50 PM |

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