THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the Vattiyoorkavu assembly bypoll just around the corner and people of the constituency taking to the streets demanding that the ‘powers be’ deliver on the long-standing demand for developing the chock-a-block Vattiyoorkavu Junction, the government has woken up finally.
On Thursday, when the junction and areas nearby observed a voluntary hartal to press the demand, Works Minister G Sudhakaran gave the undertaking that the project for the junction’s development will indeed be expedited.
The minister held discussions with members of the Vattiyoorkavu Development Action Council, spearheading the agitation for the junction’s development.
Sudhakaran said the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for development of the junction as well as the neighbouring roads has been submitted to the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) for its approval. In the 2017-18 budget, `100 crore was earmarked under KIIFB for the project and Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) was assigned as the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for its implementation. As per the project, Sasthamangalam- Mannarakonam, Mannarakonam-Peroorkada, Mannarakona-Vazhayila and
Mannarakonam-Thoppumukku-Vattiyoorkavu road stretches will be developed.
“Public Works Department (PWD) has submitted a project to KIIFB for developing the 11 km stretch in Vattiyoorkavu to a width of 21 m. For land acquisition, ` 116 crore is needed. The remaining `103.74 crore has been set apart for road construction. The project will take off as soon as KIIFB accords sanction,” the minster said.
KIIFB CEO K M Abraham has declared the agency’s willingness to allocate sufficient funds for the project, Sudhakaran said, underscoring the PWD’s capability to implement the project. Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority (TRIDA) has been tasked with acquiring land to rehabilitate the commercial establishments which will be affected by the road widening.
According to the Works Minister, a joint meeting with Revenue and Local Self- Government Ministers is also needed to ensure smooth implementation of the development project. Thiruvananthapuram Mayor, District Collector, PWD Secretary, Chief Engineers and officers of KIIFB, TRIDA and Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) too will be present, Sudhakaran said.