Fort ward residents besieged with potholes, waterlogging

POOL OF WATER: A waterlogged road near the West Street junction at West Fort in the city . Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar

POOL OF WATER: A waterlogged road near the West Street junction at West Fort in the city . Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar  

T. Nanadakumar

Residents on warpath, plan to blockade Aarattu Road

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Residents of the Fort ward are on a warpath, what with the delay in reconstruction of Aarattu Road from the SP Fort Hospital to the West Street junction.

The West Street Residents Association (WSRA) plans an agitation to highlight the hardship caused to the locals. It said that there was no effort to complete the work that ground to a halt more than a year ago. The portion of the road from West Street to the hospital was full of potholes. In the absence of proper drainage, the road got waterlogged after every rain.

Aarattu Road is a key link to the NH bypass that was identified for development under the City Roads Improvement Scheme. The stretch from Eenchakkal to West Street was resurfaced and provided with side drains. But the delay in acquiring land at both junctions has hampered further progress. As a result, the side drains remain blocked at both ends, leading to waterlogging. Waste water from houses and shops also find its way into the potholes.

Officials helpless

Project officials said they were helpless in the face of the Government's failure to hand over the required land. "It is impossible to proceed in bits and pieces. The side drains were yet to be connected to the main duct. The road profile can be finalised only after the entire land is delivered," an official said.

WSRA president Mohan Pillai Kathira said the authorities failed to take action despite repeated pleas. "The traders have already agreed to surrender the land required for the development of the West Street junction. But the Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority, the Government and the district administration have failed to act."

`A death-trap'

The association is planning to blockade Aarattu Road. General secretary Rony Santhosh said the potholed road posed a danger to motorists and pedestrians alike. "The junction has turned out to be a death-trap. There have been several accidents over the past few months. Vehicles coming round the sharp curve swerve to avoid the deep rut. Last week, a child was knocked down by a car and had to be hospitalised," he said.

MLA's intervention

V.Surendran Pillai, MLA, on Friday summoned project officials to the site and worked out a temporary solution.

"Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Limited has agreed to carry out emergency repairs to the damaged road. The work will be taken up immediately," he said.

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