Thiruvananthapuram: The City Road Improvement Project (CRIP) will not meet the deadline, this time too. As June 30, the deadline set for completion of the remaining Phase II and Phase III works, is nearing, a number of road works have hit a roadblock. Issues ranging from failure to acquire land to non-cooperation of various government departments are the reasons behind the hurdle.
Works of Thakaraparambu flyover, Medical College-Ulloor, Ulloor-Kochulloor, Model School-Ponnara Park, G G Hospital-Venpalavattom and Peroorkada-Vazhayila are progressing. According to officials of Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB), except Thakaraparambu flyover, which would take another three years to complete, road works would be over in two-three months. However, some issues remain unaddressed.
The ongoing work of Thampanoor bus stand is one of the major hurdles for the widening of Thampanoor-Overbridge Road. The temporary sheds constructed for the commuters need to be removed for the construction of drains. However, KSRTC has not heeded to the request of KRFB so far. The Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Limited (TRDCL), concessionaire of the CRIP, said work cannot progress without the construction of drains. The issue of water-logging in this area could be resolved only through the joint effort of TRDCL, KSUDP and the Railways.
Work on the nearby Thampanoor-Model School stretch is stuck for years owing to the Kerala Water Authority’s (KWA’s) sewerage works and JICA-assisted water works. However, TRDCL project engineer Anil Kumar Pandala said the Thampanoor-Model School stretch would be ready for tarring in two weeks.
KWA plays villain in the works on Ulloor-Kochulloor stretch too. In August 2010, TRDCL took over the stretch to complete works in a three-month period. However, the work got delayed indefinitely. Now, when road work is nearing completion, work of JNNRUM has hit the junction improvement project at Ulloor. On the Medical College-Ulloor stretch, land belonging to the Housing Board is yet to be acquired.
Along the Vanchiyoor-Old Collectorate road, protest against felling of 64 trees for the road development is the major issue faced by the road developers. The plan is to widen the road by covering concrete slabs over the Amayizhanjan canal. Adviser to CRIP Dr N S Sreenivasan is expected to review the revised plan, which proposes to save as many trees as possible, in July.
The land acquisition issue at Pattoor cemetery area is still unresolved as the Corporation is yet to take a decision on the complaint raised by Pharmacy Council Employees’ Union against construction of a vault near a compound wall of their institution.
Unless KRFB and Railways form a consensus on the Railway Overbridge at Pettah, the stretch will remain a major bottleneck. Land acquisition is a major issue on a number of stretches, including MG Road, Peroorkada-Vazhayila, Medical College-Ulloor etc.
“We use batch-type hotmix plant, which is worth Rs 3 crore. The capacity of the plant is 1,000 metric tonnes. Already, it is operated on loss. If we go ahead with the work ignoring small stretches, the renovation of the stretch, in a later stage, would be a costly affair,” said Pandala.