S S Nahar, chief engineer (southern states), Ministry of Road Transport and Highways , will conduct an inspection along the NH-17 stretch from Kozhikode to Ernakulam on Friday. The NH-17, which connects Panvel in South Mumbai to Kochi, ends at the Edappally junction. The inspection will be carried out in the presence of the NH-PWD state chief engineer and superintending engineer, along with other officials.
According to officials with the department, this is the first inspection being carried out in Kerala by S S Nahar since he has taken charge as chief engineer.
Sources said that the inspection is being carried out also to assess the progress of road-widening projects along NH-17. Even though land was acquired in many areas, the four-lane widening work is yet to begin, they added.
Heavy rains have damaged a portion of the NH-17 stretch from Edappally Junction to the approach road of the Edappally RoB, making it difficult for commuters who travel on the stretch.
The approach road leading to the Edappally RoB continues to develop potholes following incessant rains. According to auto rickshaw driver K K Basheer, the situation has worsened ever since the rains have started.
“Most areas have started showing signs of wear and tear. There is a heavy flow of traffic in the route since it is an NH. However, the authorities are yet to take any steps,” he said.
A few weeks ago, a youth had died in an accident in the stretch, which also does not spot any street lights.
“Even though the lights were set up on the Edappally RoB, they are not yet functional.
“The lack of street lights, along with the horrible condition of the roads, is making the stretch a difficult route for commuters. Many of the areas have also become mucky,” daily commuters told ‘Express’.
The route is frequented by the ambulances from the Amritha Institute of Medical Sciences as well. “This is the route used to take patients to the hospital. It is time the authorities concerned did something,” they added.
Speaking on the issue authorities concerned said that they have prepared an estimate report with a budget of `1.5 crore for the renovation of the approach road near the Edappally RoB. “The work on the stretch will begin on Thursday night. We have been paving the road in certain areas during the night for the past two days.
However, due to the heavy rain, it has become slushy. But we hope to start proper work on Thursday. If there is no hindrance due to rains, we expect to finish the work in the next twenty days. The approach road will be completely renovated,” the officials said.
They added that it was only natural that the approach road has started showing signs of wear and tear, despite that the road was constructed only an year back. “The approach road was constructed over slushy land. We expected this. We hope to repair the road as soon as possible for making the route motorable for the vehicles.”