No mega project, only mega pothole
By Aneesh M Das / ENS | Published: 05th October 2012 10:03 AM |
The state government often talks about attracting mega projects to the state and goes out of its way to bring in investments. But it seems to have no knowledge of a mega pothole that threatens motorists at Pallimukku, Oachira, on NH 47 which passes through the district.
After patch work done by the PWD (NH division) authorities many times turned out to be a farce, the annoyed local people a few days ago blocked those who reached the area to conduct repair work at the stretch. “The authorities have been turning a blind eye to the plight of devotees reaching the temple. During the annual ‘Erupathettam Onam’ (28th day of Onam) celebration at the temple held on September 26, the ‘Kettukala’ procession was delayed owing to the poor condition of the road. A couple of weeks ago a Thodiyoor native was seriously injured after his bike lost control hitting the pothole at Pallimukku. Pillion riders of speeding motorbikes are often thrown off their seat after falling in this treacherous pothole,” says V P S Menon, president of Oachira Parabrahma Temple Administration Committee.
It is a rough and tough ride for motorists from Oachira to Kallambalam. Traffic moves at a snail’s pace owing to large cracks on the road at the Kottunattu junction, Oachira, where the temple bypass connecting the famed Oachira Parabrahma Temple begins. While damage to the road occurs due to the lack of timely maintenance, the patch work that is done after persistent complaints turns out to be for namesake.
The tarring has swelled up and formed humps near Titanium junction towards the northern side of Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML), Chavara.
Following several accidents, the road was closed to traffic almost a month ago. Potholes have also developed near the Guest House of Indian Rare Earths Limted at Chavara. “The phenomenon of swelling near the Titanium Junction throws light on the unscientific tarring. The foundation of the roads is weak and it has to be rectified. With heavy traffic in the area, humps and slopes on the road turn into potholes within no time. The stretch in front of the KMML has become a death trap,’’ says Austin, a CITU union leader of the KMML-TP unit.
Danger is lurking on the approach roads to the Neendakara bridge and the narrow Chavara bridge. Some repairs were carried out at Neendakara but the potholes near Chavara bridge remain unnoticed by the authorities. The road is comparatively pothole-free in the city after the maintenance exercise which began a couple of weeks ago. The major crack which developed near Madannada was cemented.
Of the 57-km stretch of the NH 47 which passes through the district, the 20-km Kollam-Kadampattukonam stretch is somewhat pothole-free. Treacherous potholes can be found at SN College Junction, High School Junction, Mevaram, Chathannoor Seematti and JSM Junction.
Kollam PWD (NH) Executive Engineer N Saseendran said that the unpredictable monsoon had delayed the maintenance works. ‘’Another major issue is the delay in fund allotment. The required fund has to be granted by the Chief Engineer and the maintenance work often gets delayed due to this elaborate process. There is no practice of allotting imprest funds to the NH division executive engineers which could have enabled us to do maintenance in time,’’ he said.